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  FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS
Total Articles: 70
FAIR (recently renamed to FAIRMORMON) is a Mormon Apologetic website run by Allen Wyatt, Scott Gordon, Daniel Peterson and other Mormon Apologists.
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FAIR - Apologetic Arm Of The LDS Corporation Not Sponsorded By LDS Inc.
Saturday, Apr 8, 2006, at 08:13 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
FAIR is an apologetic organization not supported by the LDS Church. While FARMS is on the payroll of LDS, Inc., FAIR is not.

Allen Wyatt heads FAIR and will not hesitate in backstabbing or low-balling to defend the LDS Faith.

During the time that Grant Palmer was being prosecuted by the LDS Church, the Recovery groups were talking about registering such domain names as savegrantpalmer.com. When they went to register the name, Allen Wyatt of FAIR already took it. He scans the Ex-Mormon forums for URLS and registers them to prevent Ex-Mormons from creating sites.

Ultimately FAIR Apologetics works on the following principals:
  • Deny, deny, deny, testify, testify, and testify.
  • Ignore the message attack the messenger.
  • Question the validity of any source that might present negative ideas. Distract the posters from the message in the quote to some side issue.
  • Ask for a scriptural basis for a claim that something is an embarrassing church doctrine when it was plainly taught by prophets.
  • Criticize any negative quote as biased or from a disaffected member.
  • When painted into a logical corner resort to the trump card: testify on faith and a witness from the Holy Ghost.
  • Assume anyone who is not a Mormon is not living his or her life righteously enough to hear the Holy Ghost.
FAIR, like FARMS exists to contradict, counteract, suppress, withhold and dismiss any claims made by persons outside the LDS Church (read: Anti-Mormon). FAIR does this by discrediting authors, creating answers to Mormon questions and dismissing any Anti-Mormon claims in any way they can.

BYU Professors such as Daniel C. Peterson spend countless hours on the FAIR message boards.

Allen Wyatt registered dozens of miss-leading domains around the Utah Light House Ministery site - and re-directing them to FAIR in attempts to thwart visitors from finding out information about the church.

Recently Allen Wyatt of FAIR has registered over 300 website URLS hoping to confuse those searching for information on Mormonism to be funneled into FAIR owned sites. This tactic is reminiscent of porn site operators.

In my opinion, both Allen Wyatt and Daniel C. Peterson will lie, cheat, steal, miss-direct, miss-quote, obfuscate, white-wash or invent anything it takes to keep Mormons in the church.
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Lighthouse: The Group Says A Pro-lds Foundation Is Infringing On Its Trademarks
Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005, at 07:34 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
This is not a new tactic for Allen Wyatt. During the time that Grant Palmer was being prosecuted by the LDS Church, the Recovery groups were talking about registering such domain names as "http://www.savegrantpalmer.com/". When they went to register the name, it was already taken by Allen Wyatt of FAIR. The man is despicable. He scans the Ex-Mormon forums for URLS and registers them to prevent Ex-Mormons from creating sites. That is the exact reason why I registered mormoncurtain.com, .net and .org to prevent such an action.

Domain name: savegrantpalmer.com
Administrative Contact:
Discovery Computing Inc.
Allen Wyatt (awyatt@dcomp.com)
+1.4806294160
Fax: +1.4806294161
PO Box 2145
Mesa, AZ 85214
US

Maybe it's time to register www.allenwyattsucks.com, what do you think Allen? OOPS, Allen has already registered allenwyattsucks.com. Ok, how about www.allenwyattisadick.com?

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

A Salt Lake City organization that is critical of the LDS Church filed suit Monday accusing a pro-Mormon foundation of trademark infringement and unfair competition.

The suit by Utah Lighthouse Ministry Inc. accuses The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) of registering 13 Internet domain names associated with UTLM, including those of founders Jerald and Sandra Tanner, to create confusion.

The Tanners are former members and longtime critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, while FAIR says it is "dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS [Mormon] doctrine, belief and practice."

The alleged cybersquatting - the practice of registering or using Internet domain names with the intent of profiting from the good will associated with someone else's trademark - takes visitors looking for UTLM publications to a selection of hyperlinks to articles posted on FAIR's Web site instead, the suit contends. In addition, it says, these Internet sites "bear a remarkable resemblance of 'look and feel' to the UTLM Web site."

The ministry's site is utlm.org; FAIR has been using the names fairlds.org and blacklds.org. The names in dispute include utahlighthouseministry.com, utahlighthouseministry.org, sandratanner.com and gerald tanner.com.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court, names as defendants FAIR, which has addresses in New York City and Mesa, Ariz.; FAIR president Scott Gordon of Davis, Calif.; Discovery Computing Inc. of Mesa, which provides Web services to FAIR; and Discovery officers Allen L. Wyatt and Debra M. Wyatt.

The legal action seeks transfer to UTLM of the 13 domain names, which were registered in 2003 and 2004 by Allen Wyatt, and triple the unspecified monetary damages suffered by the ministry.

Wyatt said he has not seen the suit, but contended that viewers could tell the difference between the FAIR and UTLM sites.

"There's no confusion as to whether it's her [Sandra Tanner's] organization or not," he said. "I just grabbed the names because they were available."

However, he acknowledged that he disagrees with the Tanners' position and said taking the domain names is a valid free speech exercise.

Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.
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Tanners' Lawsuit Against FAIR - Link To Copy Of The Complaint
Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005, at 08:34 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Utah Lighthouse Ministries (Jerald and Sandra Tanner's organization) has filed suit against FAIR and several people associated with it. The accusations include cybersquatting, trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition.

A link to a PDF copy of the complaint can be found here:

http://www.exmormon.org/utlmcomplaint.pdf

Don't bother clicking if you don't want to read legalese. I'm sure one of our resident lawyers can post a nice summary for lay-people.

To save our bandwidth, please download the file to your own computer before reading it. From most browsers you can do this by right-clicking on the link and selecting "Save Target As..." or "Save Link As...". Mac users with one mouse button are on their own.
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From A 1st Year Law Student's Perspective On Re: Tanners Vs FAIR
Wednesday, Apr 27, 2005, at 02:25 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
One of our professors just warned us yesterday in our last class not to give legal advice, so this is just an observation.

After skimming, it looks like the Tanners have a good case because they incorporated in 1982, and Wyatt registered the sites in question in 1997.

Wyatt included the names of the Tanners in the meta tags of utahlighthouse.com. Wyatt also copied the "look and feel" of the Tanners web site. The Wyatts sold FAIR books through bogus web sites. Now the Tanners want the Wyatts to hand over the web sites, and pay damages for deceptive business practices.

The attorneys for UTLM have great evidence in that they have copies of Whois registration, and they have all kinds of evidence showing that Wyatt was trying to drive traffic to FAIR by deception. See the VW case I referred to in another thread.

If it were just about religious ideology, there wouldn't be a big problem. However, since Wyatt and the Tanners both sell books, it is now a business problem.

The last nail in the coffin of the Wyatts is that they didn't even use anything resembling the domain names they registered. So it's a logical conclusion that they were trying to use the trademarks that the Tanners built up.

FAIR used the same "look and feel" as UTLM. That's an extremely deceptive business practice and will really be frowned upon by the court, IMNSHO.

The web sites by the Wyatts had links to the FAIR LDS book store. The problem is that people might think they are buying books from the Tanners, but they are actually getting FAIR books or CDs. Sandra Tanner even bought a book from FAIR to illustrate this. She got it through one of the 13 bogus web sites, run by FAIR. Interstate commerce - federal crime!

So, here's what the tanners are asking for.

1. Transfer ownership of the contested web sites to the Tanners. This is standard, and many large companies have done it. See: Click For Link

The VW case sets precedent - there could have even been one before that, too.

2. Damages for trademark infringement ($1k to $100k per domain).

3. Attorney fees.

I might have missed something, but that's the thrust of it.

I think the Tanners have a good case. And FAIR really lost some points in my book over this one. I have read a lot of people who criticize Fair, but now I see why with my own two eyes.
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Historical Or Hysterical Anti-mormons And Documentary Sources
Thursday, May 19, 2005, at 07:25 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
FAIR has released a new document. An excerpt:
"In this presentation I would like to focus on how anti-Mormons present a fragmentary, one-sided, and often distorted view of the Prophet Joseph Smith through the selective use of documents. This is a very broad topic and so because of space limitations I will only be sharing a small part of the research that I have conducted in this area. I believe that by the end of this paper you will see that while anti-Mormons like to claim that their version of Joseph Smith's story is 'historical' it can actually be quite 'hysterical' for those who have taken the time to closely examine the relevant documents."
Click Here For Original Link Or Thread.

First, Matthew Brown boasts:
"In this presentation I would like to focus on how anti-Mormons present a fragmentary, one-sided, and often distorted view of the Prophet Joseph Smith through the selective use of documents."
Just underneath that, he displays a timeline of "documents pertaining to Smith's character." But predictably, he makes no mention whatsoever of Smith's "glass-looking" trial at Bainbridge, New York, on March 20, 1826---even though the event was verified by multiple sources, and even some LDS scholars are finally admitting that the event occurred. See

http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech4.htm

and Abram Benton's 1831 article in the "Evangelical Magazine and Gospel Advocate" at

http://www.olivercowdery.com/smithhome/1877Purp.htm

Gee, could it be possible that Brown didn't mention those sources because his agenda was to "present a fragmentary, one-sided, and often distorted view of the Prophet Joseph Smith through the selective use of documents"?

Brown states "One recent anti-Mormon book cites a statement made in 1831 by Abner Cole who said that it was 'quite certain that the prophet himself never made any serious pretensions to religion until his late pretended revelation'–meaning the Book of Mormon.' "

Hmmm, Fawn Brodie quoted Cole's statement in her 1945 "No Man Knows My History" (on page 23 of the 1971 edition), and it has been quoted by numerous other authors since then. Meaning, this is not exactly a "recent" or a new accusation. Brown is apparently unable to perceive that Cole's statement was based on his own experiences with Smith and family. All the quotes Brown uses are from late apologetic efforts from Smith's relatives. The dozens of witnesses who made statements about Smith's 1820's character who were NOT related to him (and were NOT making a living or fame off the Mormon church in some way or another) testified that the Smith family was generally lazy and shiftless, and spent years engaging in occult folk-magic scams. Also, there are other published reports from 1831-32 besides Cole's which document how Smith evolved from an occult folk-magician into a Biblical-style "prophet" between 1827 and 1829. And none of the accounts of his March 1826 "glass-looking" trial say anything about Joseph claiming to have seen God and Jesus, the angel Moroni, golden plates, etc. They describe him as a young two-bit con artist who was caught trying to scam old Josiah Stowell, and being embarrassed and apologetic for his offense.

One of Brown's major sources is William Smith's late recollection---but for some reason, Brown doesn't mention William's statement that Joseph was first inspired to seek religion after hearing the preaching of evangelist George Lane (which would have been in 1823 or 24), rather than being inspired by reading in his Bible in 1820, as Joseph claimed in his "official history." And Joseph claimed that he was "persecuted" by local ministers for telling them he had seen a heavenly vision, while William says that Joseph was actually inspired by the preacher Lane. Gee, I wonder why Brown didn't mention that?

Under the section titled "Dishonest?", Brown quotes three witnesses to Smith's good character: William Smith, Lorenzo Snow, and Oliver Cowdery. But Brown quotes none of the more than sixty witnesses who were Joseph's acquaintances in the 1820s, and who swore legal affidavits which painted a more complete and balanced picture of Joseph's character, including details of his long folk-magic career.

Also, it's rather amusing that Brown uses "character witnesses" to testify to Smith's honesty, when we can find numerous instances and statements which illustrates Smith's DIShonesty from his own mouth and pen, and from the pages of his own church's history. Joseph's own bald-faced lies regarding his secret, illicit polygamy practice, for instance, tell us everything we need to know about his character, even without considering any antagonistic sources.

Brown cites RLDS researcher William Kelley's 1881 interview (note 3) with John Stafford regarding the Smith family's Bible reading, but Brown doesn't balance that out with some contrasting reports of the Smith family's 1820's character which were also recorded by Kelley, such as Ezra Pierce's recollection:
"They were poor, and got along by working by the day; the old man had a farm up there, and a log house upon it. The old man Smith and Hyrum were coopers; I never went to the same school that the boys did--they dug for money sometimes; young Joe, he had a stone that he could look through and see where the money was; there were a good many others who dug with them, and Joe used to play all kinds of tricks upon them." Who said they dug for money? "Oh, I have heard it lots of times. If my brother was living, he could tell you all about it." Others dug besides the Smiths, did they? "Yes; there were others who dug; but I always heard that the Smiths dug the most; one of the Chase's, a young lady, had a stone which she claimed she could look through and see money buried." Did anybody dig for her? "Yes; I guess they did. They said so." Then young Joe had some opposition in the seeing-money business? "That is what everybody said." Who was this Miss Chase? Where does she live? "She is dead now; she was a sister to Abel Chase, who lives upon the Palmyra Road."
Kelley also interviewed John Gilbert, who in 1829 had set the type for the printing of the Book of Mormon:

"Did the Smiths ever dig for money?" "Yes; I can tell you where you can find persons who know all about that; can take you to the very place."

Why didn't Brown cite such quotes in his article? Gee, could it be because they spoke of the Smith family's practice of peep-stoning and money-digging, which LDS apologists have been trying to deny or explain away for 175 years?

This is enough for one post, but I trust that readers can see that this FAIR author is anything but "fair" in his rendition of Joseph Smith's history. By omitting accounts which differ with his glowing, practically perfect image of Smith, the author commits the same offense of which he accuses "anti-Mormon" writers. Where I come from, we call that a "hypocrite."
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FAIR Is Hopelessly Desperate For Sources Showing A First Vision Account With Both The Father And The Son Prior To 1838
Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005, at 08:26 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
FAIR has an ironically fantastic "critique" of anti-Mormon documentary sources, here:

http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/conf/2004BroM.html

The real kicker I had to share with you all: about a third of the way down is a green slide (you can click to expand it) with a timeline showing all the many times prior to 1838 that Joseph Smith is on record as mentioning a Heavenly Father at the first vision as well as Jesus. So this clearly blows any contrary allegations by anti-Mormons out of the water, eh?

Now take a closer look at the references. You need to poke around the article's footnotes to find them all. As it turns out, all of the cited references, though they describe events in the 1830's, date from 1893 at the earliest to 1937! So since someone in 1893 (that one happens to be my own dear great-great-great-grandfather, Edward Stevenson) recalls Joseph Smith once describing seeing both the Father and the Son, in... "oh, it must have been 1834 for sure!"... that proves it folks: there's no possible way a man in his 80s would have misattributed something he heard someone say 55 years earlier as something he heard that someone say 59 years earlier. You just don't get historical evidence any more solid than that! At least, not when it happens to confirm what you would desperately like to find confirming evidence for.

Any sign or whisper of a critical evaluation of source material - which I thought was pretty much the definition of history, right back to Herodotus - from the budding historian who wrote this piece? Actually, based on the Stevenson reference, written in 1893 when Stevenson was in his eighties, the author says, without qualification or reservation, "...in 1834 we know that he related it...", referring to Joseph relating a first vision account that included a separate Heavenly Father. We know. And at 1893, my great-great-great-grandpa's memoir (available at BYU Special Collections, and an interesting read) is by far the closest source they can come up with to indicate any record of Joseph describing a first vision with a separate Heavenly Father prior to 1838. The next source, chronologically, is a cite to the Young Women's Journal dating from 1907, only 75+ years after the fact... when memories have become even sharper...

This is the best they can do to argue that Joseph Smith didn't change his mind 18 years after the supposed first vision, and only then up the ante by describing having seen a Heavenly Father in addition to Jesus? There is no single earlier record, from the 18 years prior, of the single most crucial claim to Joseph's divine calling, and from a man and a church with an almost superhuman will to publish materials about their faith to send to all corners of Western civilization? No written record until 1893, of Joseph having described prior to 1838 having seen a separate Heavenly Father?

Ironically, this eminently FAIR article is entitled "Historical or Hysterical – Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources". I'll leave it to the reader to decide where the article's interpretation of documentary sources lies on the historical-hysterical spectrum.
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FAIR Document And New BoD
Wednesday, Jul 6, 2005, at 09:06 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
This post regards the document found at:

http://www.fairlds.org/apol/brochures/EternalMarriage.pdf

In it, it states:

"In response to the LDS doctrine of eternal marriage, you may hear Matthew 22:23-30... brought up as proof that there won't be marriage in heaven."

"There are two things you need to appreciate in order to answer this claim:

1. The Restored Gospel is not "biblicist" in nature, meaning we believe that the word of God is not subject to individual interpretation, but is that which proceeds from the mouth of a living prophet"

"Biblicism vs. Continuing Revelation. Believing in continuing relation means the LDS believe we have prophets who can receive revelation on an ongoing basis on behalf of Jesus Christ. So to answer an objection like this it suffices only to show that the Bible does not contradict the doctrine of eternal marriage; we do not have to show from where in the Bible we get the doctrine. We teach from the scriptures but we teach the Restored Gospel, not the traditional collection of philosophy, creeds and theologies put together by men over the past nearly two millennia."

What does that say to me? Well it may have been already obvious to you but there are a couple things that are a new "revelation" to me.

First, the Bible doesn't matter to any of the LDS because it "is not subject to individual interpretation." So why do Mormons have any Scripture since they cannot receive truth through it apart from the prophet?

Second, why do LDS missionaries use the Bible to prove certain difficult theologies (such as baptism for the dead) instead of merely quoting the living prophet? I realize there is an easy answer of "they are trying to deceive those familiar with the Bible as a basis to sell their own interpretation" but this is just one more dishonest approach for Mormons.

Third, notice the phrase "living prophet". Does that mean all of the Restored Gospel can only come through the current living prophet and not from the past dead ones? That would definitely narrow down the "Gospel" to several pages and not the Books we have now. Or is it, "The past doctrine is good unless proven otherwise."

What I propose they do to be more open and above board concerning just being able for LDS and non-LDS to keep up with current doctrine/revelation would be to print a current "Bible" of all their doctrine each year to keep an updated and concise point of reference for all LDS beliefs. If there was a Mormon questioning a past doctrine that they overheard someone talk about, they could just refer to the "2005 Book of Doctrine" (BoD). If a prospective wants more insight into the church, read the BoD. Do away once and for all with the Journal of Discourses, Book of Mormon, KJV Bible, JST Bible, Pearl of Great Price, History of Church, History of JS etc. etc. and all of its inconsistencies and having to have FAIR and FARMS make sense of it all. Start fresh with something current and direct from the Lord (the Living Prophet) with a BoD 2005. It will be the most current and perfect Book ever recorded and handed down to the Saints of the Lord.
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Thanks To FAIR I Left The Church
Tuesday, Jul 12, 2005, at 12:50 PM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
As some of you know, FAIR was very instrumental in my decision to leave the church. The apologists on the discussion board left me feeling alone in my concerns and I was personally attacked many times by several of them, mostly by the administration. Right now they have some threads about giving more TLC to people coming there with concerns but I still don't see any changes in their behavior. They also have a thread about "fence sitters" coming to FAIR for help and if they have helped people stay or go.

When I left FAIR my head was spinning from the insanity of the apologist world. I felt like slamming my head in to a brick wall. Thankfully, many posters on the board helped me see that integrity is on the side of the critics. I was very surprised at the lengths apologists will go to lie for their Faith. I wonder how many people have left the church after going to FAIR for help. I just read that they banned Truth Dancer the same time Beastie was banned. I went to FAIR so that I could see if there was more to the history that could change my repulsed feelings about it. I went there to see how my fellow members that knew the true unsanitized versions were able to salvage their testimony. I went there for good discussion about troubling issues with polygamy, modern revelation, secret combinations, polyandry, and Prophets speaking as men vs. for God.

What is FAIR's purpose? They are on constant alert for a troll and end up driving away the people coming for help. Even when they know the person is sincere, they can't handle any critical questions of the church. How can they help people with that attitude? They try and pretend that this stuff shouldn't disturb you. I would say, most people coming there for help like me, are going to have many problems with the church history or they wouldn't have found themselves there in the first place.

"do you have a problem with polygamy?"
"what would bother you about your husband having sex with another woman? Are you jealous?"
"Don't you believe in continuing revelation? You should only worry about what the Prophet of our day has said."
"D and C 132 is about eternal marriage not plural marriage."

The list is endless but makes me crazy. Jullian is one of the cruelest apologists from administ. who gets away with breaking the rules on a daily basis. I wasn't on the board when Daniel c Petersen was but I have heard he caused some to fall away from the church. I would like to thank all the apologists at FAIR for helping me see that I will never be able to overcome the knowledge of church history. To do so requires lying, and slandering of good people. I will never be one of them. It's disturbing that there are people like that in the Mormon church.
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What Brigham Really Meant, According To FAIR Members
Thursday, Sep 8, 2005, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African Race? If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so."

I think I just might frame this quote on my wall with a caption:

Brigham Young, speaking in defense of African slave women repeatedly raped by their slave owners.

http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?s...

Mormonism began as a racist organization, and Brigham Young's beliefs and statements were against race-mixing, rather than against rape of female Negro slaves. Here's another of his statements which leaves no doubt as to his beliefs:

President Wilford Woodruff Journal 4:97-99 (Feb 1852)]
"Govornor B Youngs address Before the legislative assembly of the Territory of Utah upon slavery: He remarked that the whole world were slaves. Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and also Adam and it brought slavery upon all their posterity in some way or other and this will continue untill we become righteous enough to drive the devil and evil from the Earth.

Adam had two sons Kane and Abel. Cain was more given to evil than Abel. Adam was called to offer sacrifice also his sons. The sacrifice of Abel was more acceptable than Canes and Cane took it into his heart to put Abel out of the way so he killed Abel. The Lord said I will not kill Cane But I will put a mark upon him and it is seen in the [face?] of every Negro on the Earth And it is the decree of God that that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cane and the Curse untill all the seed of Abel should be re[deem?]ed and Cane will not receive the priesthood untill or salvation untill all the seed of Abel are Redeemed.

Any man having one drop of the seed of Cane in him Cannot hold the priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it Before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ. I know it is true and they know it. The Negro cannot hold one particle of Government But the day will Come when all the seed of Cane will be Redeemed and have all the Blessings we have now and a great deal more. But the seed of Abel will be ahead of the seed of Cane to all Eternity.

Let me consent to day to mingle my seed with the seed of Cane. It would Bring the same curse upon me And it would upon any man. And if any man mingles his seed with the seed of Cane the ownly way he Could get rid of it or have salvation would be to Come forward and have his head Cut off and spill his Blood upon the ground. It would also take the life of his Children."
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Mormon On FAIR Boards Acknowledges Rudeness Of Regulars (Mormons) On FAIR Boards
Thursday, Sep 8, 2005, at 08:20 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
A few days ago, a FAIRboard newbie posted a question at FAIRboards regarding temple changes:

Quote:
Is there any official documentation as to why parts of the temple ceremony have been altered...both in 1990 and as recently as January of this year?

I would really like to know why these changes were made.

Thank you for your help!
Rather than reply to the post in the thread, I sent her a respectful private message:
As a preface, quite often before the church implements any changes to anything (like the missionary discussions), they test the waters first. It could be through a "pilot program" (as with the missionary discussions) or [as far as I know] with the temple changes, obtaining anonymous statistics of what members think about the temple; taken from small sample of the church membership. I am not making this up, I have read quite a few remarks by people who were part of said sample.

So without delving into "sacred" things, the church removed parts of the endowment that members thought were either offensive, morbid, or unsettling. Of course any active member of the church will tell you the changes were not the direct result of any such surveys/samples, but that the changes were "inspired."

Now I don't know your membership status, (i.e., non-member, less-active, active, etc.) but I will play it safe and assume you are a believing active member of the church. With that said, it is not my intent to point you down the "wrong" path, but you might get better results regarding the very survey/sample I mentioned if you asked about it at the "Recovery from Mormonism" Bulletin Board. ... As a warning, if you go there, many people can come across as "rude" [implying that TBM trolls are not tolerated] but at the same time, many will answer such a question sincererly if they participated in said survey/sample.
Here is the reply I received from her:
Thank you for your polite and respectful response. I am a long-time member with a tremendous amount of respect for the temple. My question was sincere, and I was treated with incredible hostility from people on this board [i.e., FAIRboards].

I have actually been to the Exmormon Recover Board, and found that most people there are much more respectful of people's views than those [at FAIRboards.]

As you can see, my thread was shut down.

I will take your suggestion.

Thanks again!
It found it interesting to hear a [non-FAIRboard-regular] TBM refer to the many [FAIRboard-regular] TBMs as "hostile" and the exmormons here as "respectful." But of course, any FAIRboard-regular TBM thinks we here are all embittered people "living in sin."
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"Is Mormonism a Cult?" - A Rebuttal to FAIR
Monday, Sep 26, 2005, at 08:12 AM
Original Author(s): Luna F.
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
"Is Mormonism a Cult?" – A Rebuttal to FAIR
by Luna F.


Mormonism has been accused of being a cult for many years. Since most people don't have a good understanding of what a cult is, it is easy to both blindly accuse and defend against such imagery as weird ritual, hypnotic mind control, and drooling zombies.

The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) is a Mormon think-tank for combating criticism of Mormonism. Their website has a page devoted to addressing these accusations. (http://www.fairlds.org/apol/ai042.html) There are five articles listed on this page. Most take very weak swipes at the topic, using non-secular (doctrine-based) definitions of cults, and explaining why the Mormon Jesus really is Christian. Even the famed author Orson Scott Card takes a stab at it, and falls intellectually short. (The link on the FAIR page is broken. It can be found at http://www.beliefnet.com/story/49/story_4906_1.html.)

One author, Kim Siever, makes a decent effort, using a checklist written by a secular cult expert, Dr. Michael Langone. However, this paper still glosses over this complex subject. I have to wonder if Siever has ever actually read any secular books about cults. In spite of using Langone's checklist, he still seems more focused on the Christian definition, which emphasizes non-Christian doctrine and unusual ritual. (http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/LDSCult.pdf - Is Mormonism a Cult by Kim Siever)

Beliefs themselves are not harmful, at least not from an objective, non-religious view. From a scientific angle, it doesn't matter whether a person worships the Trinity or the Godhead or Satan or Beelzebub. These are all arbitrary beliefs that in and of themselves do not harm a person. Some believe in a hellish afterlife for those who mistakenly worship the wrong Savior, but this cannot be proven either way in this life, so we must rely on scientific definitions.

Secular cult experts focus on how an organization controls and deceives its members, and how this is psychologically and materially damaging. Steven Hassan states, "A group should not be considered a 'cult' merely because of its unorthodox beliefs or practices." (Releasing the Bonds, p. 3)

While Siever uses a cult checklist written by a prominent cult expert, he still cannot seem to detach himself from the idea of Christians vs. Mormons. He does not seem to have studied the cult phenomenon beyond visiting a few internet sites. (Perhaps it is not necessary for his eternal salvation?)

When using the Christian definitions of a "cult", it does come down to a comparison between Christian and Mormon doctrine. However, Siever is using a checklist of a secular cult expert, and so we must use the secular definition.

By itself, Langone's list is sufficiently vague enough to allow shallow excuses for why Mormonism does not fit. One cannot fully grasp the cult dynamic in detail by reading a 15-point checklist. (Additionally, there are much more detailed lists available, especially Steven Hassan's BITE model.)

Cult experts have defined cults in much better detail in books and academic papers. Here are a couple of secular definitions:

Steven Hassan: "...destructive cults are distinguished by their use of deception and mind control techniques to undermine a person's free will and make him dependent on the group's leader... A group becomes destructive when its leader actively uses such power to deceive members and to rob them of their individuality and free will." (Releasing the Bonds, pp. 3-4)

It becomes a merely semantic argument to focus on Hassan's use of the word "Leader". Indeed, Mormonism does not make its members dependent on a single group leader. However it is just as destructive to make them dependent upon the group itself, or a collection of group leadership, from the Bishop on up to the Apostles and Prophet.

Dr. Langone himself defines cults in the following way:

"...cults differ from "new religions," "new political movements," "innovative psychotherapies," and other "new" groups in that cults make extensive use of unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control to advance the leader's goals. Of course some groups that cause concern do not meet all the definitional criteria, while others become more or less cultic over time." He goes on to state, "Cults differ from merely authoritarian groups...in that the latter are explicit about their goals, are contractual rather than seductive, and usually are accountable to authorities outside the group." (Recovery from Cults, pg 5)

Margaret Singer and Richard J. Ofshe use this definition:

"A cult is a group or movement that, to a significant degree, (a) exhibits great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing, (b) uses a thought-reform program to persuade, control, and socialize members (i.e., to integrate them into the group's unique pattern of relationships, beliefs, values, and practices), (c) systematically induces states of psychological dependency in members, (d) exploits members to advance the leadership's goals, and (e) causes psychological harm to members, their families, and the community." (Recovery from Cults, p. 5)

Siever seems to believe that people accuse Mormonism of culthood only to produce an association to the occult and Satanic. To the Mormon psyche it seems difficult to comprehend why people would waste their time "attacking" the church, unless such people are somehow malicious or evil.

There are other motives. Many of us believe the Church is a harmful cult (based on secular definitions) and that it is psychologically damaging to its members. Many of us are former members who were damaged, and are seeking recovery so we can live healthy, free, and happy lives. We are often concerned for our friends and family members who are still psychologically trapped.

It is difficult for a Mormon to see that they are being manipulated, and so they will avidly deny it. Yet it is the very mark of successful manipulation that the victim be totally unaware, believing they are entirely under their own influence. An in-depth study of cults in general will reveal more on how Mormonism keeps members in line, including social pressure, thought-terminating clichés, reframing, black and white thinking, cognitive dissonance, public commitment, groupspeak (cult jargon), deception, the double-bind (loyalty/betrayal funnel), etc.

Throughout the paper, Siever compares Christianity to Mormonism when looking at cult status. This is a way of finding Mormonism innocent by saying, "Well, it's just as bad as other religions". It's like a used car salesman trying to sell you a car with no engine. When you point this out, he says, "Well, it has wheels and a new battery... and besides, that truck of yours doesn't run so well, either."

To mix analogies, if you look like a duck, walk like a duck, and quack like a duck, you are still a duck, even if it's another water fowl telling you so.

This tactic makes use of a logical fallacy, specifically Tu Quoque. This is fancy Latin for, "You too!" Siever is saying that the Church's similarity to cults isn't a problem, because mainstream Christianity is also similar. Using this approach does not, in fact, prove Mormonism is not a cult. Therefore, his argument is not logical, though it might seem to be. This also distracts the reader from the main point -- a "Red Herring" fallacy.

Siever addresses Langone's list point by point, so I will follow this model, summarizing Siever's views and offering my rebuttal.

The group is focused on a living leader to whom members display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.

Siever focuses on the charismatic aspect of a living leader, and does not even address "excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment".

Langone was seeking to simplify his list, and so did not have room to explain that some cults will focus on commitment to the beliefs, the organization, or multiple leaders. It is irrelevant that Mormons do not worship a single charismatic living leader. It is relevant that most members are extremely committed to the Prophet and other general authorities, and to their beliefs. The pivotal words are "unquestioning" and "excessively zealous".

The Church sets Jesus Christ as its center, but then effectively transfers all of this commitment and power to Church leadership by the doctrine, "...whether by mine [the Lord's] own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (DandC 1:38)

The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

Siever admits to the proselytizing aspect of the church, and excuses it because Christianity does it, too. A bit of Tu Quoque.

He also does ignores the fact that Mormons strongly emphasize this aspect of the Gospel, more so than most Christian groups. All 19 year old male members are expected to go on a formal mission. They are under enormous religious and social pressure to go. If they do not, they face lowered social status, fewer options for mates, being labeled judgmentally as "less righteous" and other anti-virtues, fewer "blessings", reduced spirituality, and probable scorn from family and friends. These young men and women postpone educational opportunities, leave behind fiancés (who often dump them), and separate from friends and family for a duration of two full years.

"Every member a missionary". Members are strongly encouraged to give religious material to non-member friends and invite them to church social gatherings. Uplifting spiritual stories are told of miraculous conversions. Strong promises are made concerning the afterlife: "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!" (DandC 18:15)

The group is preoccupied with making money.

Again, Siever compares Mormonism to Christianity. He does not point out that the Church stresses tithing at many meetings, and that payment is required for church callings, temple entry, social status, reentry into God's presence, and general overall "worthiness" (linked to self esteem). He dismisses tithing by stating, "I wouldn't label it as a pre-occupation".

Members are made to feel afraid to not pay their tithing. They are interviewed once a year for the express purpose of determining tithe status. They're promised blessings if they pay, and punishment if they don't. Punishment includes social rejection, loss of financial stability, and burning. "...verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming." (DandC 64:23)

Of course members will be pre-occupied with a commandment of such weight.

Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

On this point, Siever manages to make mainstream Christianity look worse than Mormonism by comparing medieval churches with modern Mormonism. Apples to oranges. He also emphasizes what the Church says but not what the Church does.

One aspect of mind control involves making a person believe they are free. The Church does indeed verbally encourage members to question. But they also encourage members to obey their leaders and to exercise faith. When a question can't be answered to a member's satisfaction, they're told to accept it on faith. Faith is held as a high virtue, so not accepting something on faith is "bad" and makes the member feel less worthy. This is a very effective means of silencing doubt.

There is also the social factor, which is a very powerful force in a cult. Questions that presuppose the church is true and that the Prophet is called of God are generally acceptable and are never punished. It's ok to ask, "How can I be more faithful?", "What is the Celestial Kingdom like?", and "What did the Liahona look like?" Questions that could undermine faith are socially discouraged. Many ex-Mormons report experiences of social shaming and scorn for asking edgy questions. They are made to feel as if something is wrong with them for not automatically believing.

This is known as a double-bind or loyalty/betrayal funnel. If the member does not ask the "forbidden" questions, they are betraying themselves. If they do, they are "disloyal" (or unfaithful), and are judged "guilty" by the group. The organization can therefore look blameless, because they are openly encouraging questions, while in truth they are discouraging them.

Members are strongly admonished to avoid "anti-Mormon" material. They are told this will weaken their testimony. The label "anti" denotes something very negative, and members believe apostates and anti-Mormons are angry, hateful, pushy, and inspired by the devil. Antis are out to persecute and destroy the church. Their motives are never pure. Seeking this material will cause the Spirit to leave you, and you will no longer be able to discern right from wrong. Members tell personal stories of reading anti-Mormon books and "losing the Spirit", being filled with fear, or becoming "confounded" or confused -- all feelings caused by Satan.

Worthiness interviews attempt to insure members have a testimony by asking if they know the church is true, if they sustain church leadership, etc. If the answer to any of these questions is "No", callings and temple recommends can be denied. Worthiness is also linked to social status and self-esteem.

Siever states that the only time members are excommunicated for their doubts are when they encourage dissent among members. Well, isn't that what Langone is talking about here? Dissent is discouraged and even punished by the Mormon church.

This is where group-speak comes in. Dissent is a "bad word". To a member, this word is like "murmuring", "contention", "rebelliousness", and the spirit of the devil. It conjures up stories of Laman and Lemuel, who were the evil brothers of the Book of Mormon protagonist, Nephi. "...he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another." (3 Nephi 11:29)

Yet to non-members, this word is fairly benign. The American Heritage dictionary defines "dissent" as "v. (1) To differ in opinion or feeling; disagree, (2) To withhold assent or aproval. n. (2) The refusal to conform to the authority or doctrine of an established church; nonconformity."

A non-Mormon would usually see dissent as a good thing. Allowing disagreement is a part of the nature of freedom and individuality. Admitting that your organization has excommunicated people for encouraging "disagreement" or "differing in opinion" is admitting your organization is exerting authoritarian control over your members beliefs, thoughts, and feelings.

Many members have been disfellowshipped and excommunicated for writing and teaching on topics such as Mormon feminism, evolution, genetic science, and unauthorized church history. These have been in forums such as universities and intellectual conferences and publications, forums apart from general church membership. It does not matter how much supporting fact or documentation exists, or that these papers were written by sincere, yet concerned, believers. Questions and doubts were expressed to other members, therefore, the "guilty" member is punished.

What good is a question if it cannot be expressed without punishment? How is the Church really encouraging questions if it disfellowships those who publicly ask?

Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

Siever picks a few Christian sects who practice speaking in tongues, etc., to make mainstream Christianity appear more cultlike than Mormonism. He claims that of these, Mormonism only practices prayer.

Prayer, in and of itself, has not been demonstrated to be a mind control technique. Excessive prayer has. Mormons are encouraged to "Pray always and not faint", and that you shouldn't do much of anything without praying first. (2 Nephi 32:8-9).

Langone's list of mind-numbing techniques should not be considered exhaustive. Members are also encouraged to fast once a month and as needed for special purposes. Fasting weakens the will, and makes one more suggestible. It is in this state during Fast Sunday that one listens to personal testimonies of others. Fasting is also encouraged during the testimony-gaining process. If one is concerned with a specific church doctrine, are struggling to know if the church is true, or are making a major life decision, they are encouraged to fast while praying and reading the scriptures.

Another well-know mind control technique known as "the thought-terminating cliché". This is a phrase or activity designed to stop undesirable thoughts. Mormonism employs this regularly. The most dramatic examples include:

1) Instructions to hum or sing a hymn when an undesirable thought enters the mind
2) Pray when an undesirable thought enters the mind
3) "Get thee behind me Satan" and other phrases which label the undesirable thought as evil so that it cannot be considered

There are many other thought-stopping clichés that apply to specific situations, such as "Endure to the end", "Be of good cheer", "I will not be tempted beyond that which I'm able," "Do not harden your heart", "Do not crucify the Savior anew", and "Is this [question, reading material, speculation] necessary for my eternal salvation?"

Siever also does not point out that many members feel overwhelmed with the work they need to do. Many are exhausted and depressed. Many members also report they do not get enough sleep. If this is in doubt, try making a list of the number of commandments and "shoulds" given by the Church. It exhausted me just thinking about it. This would count as a "debilitating work routine". Overwork and exhaustion is another form of mind-numbing used by many cult groups.

There are many more subtle thought-control techniques employed by the Church, but these would require more lengthy exploration than this space allows.

The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth).

Siever points out that members are encouraged to wear modest clothing and he mentions the temple recommend process.

He completely ignores the other points here, both the obvious and the subtle.

He does not mention the required wearing of garments or Mormon dietary restrictions. He does not mention that young members are strongly discouraged from dating non-members, that Mormonism dictates sexuality, that it directs women to stay at home to raise a family, and that it proscribes instructions for almost every other area of a member's life.

While Mormons do not need to ask the Bishop for permission regarding every mundane daily act, members are always encouraged to "Choose the right" in every aspect of their lives. A wrong choice is said to have dire, long-lasting consequences. Even for non-religious life choices, members are instructed to seek council in the scriptures, in fasting, and in prayer. Because of this reliance on "The Spirit", many members are afraid to make even the simplest of choices. Members become susceptible to "revelations" (promptings, visions, and dreams) from fellow members, leaders, and parents, especially in the realm of marriage and careers.

The Church doesn't seem to care about career choices for men, which specific returned missionary you should date and marry, what kind of non-caffeinated non-alcoholic dinner you should eat, what house you should live in, or which wholesome consumer goods you buy with the remaining 90% of your income. But beyond this, the Church has many recommendations for an "upright" Mormon life. Read you scriptures daily, hold family home evening, raise your children well, wear dresses and suits, short hair for men, don't get too many piercings (none of the face), seek after virtuous things of good report, do not watch R rated movies, listen to uplifting music, keep a clean home, do not work on Sunday, do not masturbate, do not have impure thoughts, serve your fellow man, avoid all appearances of evil, develop your talents, be productive, be careful who you associate with, date worthy members, sex is for procreation only, bake cookies, do your home/visiting teaching, and magnify your calling.

If this is not dictating, I don't know what is.

The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).

Again Siever ignores the main point of the item. She focuses on the example used, not the statement.

Mormonism is very elitist. Members believe they are elect, the most valiant servants in the pre-existence. Mormons born in these last days are called of God, his chosen people, to be his warriors before the Second Coming. Saturday's Warriors. "...among all these [intelligences/spirits] there were many of the noble and great ones...These I will make my rulers." Abraham 3:22-23.

Mormons identify themselves with most references to Israel in scripture, and "The World" (everyone else) is equated to Babylon. All the responsibilities and good things promised to Israel are promised to Mormons, while the bad things that happen to wicked Babylon will happen to the rest of the world.

While Mormon rhetoric claims everyone is equally loved in the site of God, other doctrines -- and more importantly, attitudes and actions -- contradict this. Mormons believe they have a birthright so long as they continue to keep the lengthy list of commandments. Non-members and less active members are looked down upon as weak and sinful. They are usually treated with less respect. Members who leave the church are labeled "apostates", which has many negative connotations. Exmormons are encouraged to return in condescending, often pitying tones. The "righteous" are exalted, the wicked are smitten.

It is difficult to deny that Mormons believe they are special. It is drilled into their heads in church lessons, conference talks, and hymns. Many hymns use battle imagery to show the righteous slaying sinful enemies. Mormons are to be in the world, but not of the world.

Many of these points also apply to the next item.

The group has a polarized us- versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.

Siever admits to this one, stating that members tend to congregate geographically and when possible, use professional services of fellow members.

He does not stress the "us-vs-them" mentality, which is prevalent in Mormonism. Mormons have a persecution complex, and believe many people are out to destroy the church and make life miserable for innocent members. The attitude seems to be, "You're either with us, or against us."

The outside world is shunned, is considered less desirable to Mormon spirituality. Mormons are proud of being "a peculiar people".

Conflicts arise when Mormons flaunt their self-righteousness, disrespect boundaries, condescend to wicked outsiders, treat non-members and exmormons with disdain, and try to push their beliefs on others by knocking on doors.

The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).

Siever states that both Mormon and Christian leaders are accountable to God. This of course assumes there is a God to be accountable to.

Langone did not intend this item to mean "accountable to the deity which the cult worships". It means living, earthly authorities. Cult leaders do a lot of unethical things in the name of their deity, holding themselves above the law. When they are only accountable to their God, then they can justify doing anything they claim their God is in favor of, even if such actions are harmful, unethical, and illegal.

Modern Mormonism attempts to follow government laws, however historically Mormon leaders have often been in defiance of worldly authority. Since this is not the forum for discussion of historical Mormonism, I will leave it at that.

The modern Mormon organization keeps many things hidden from their members and the world at large. Because of this, it is difficult to say to what extent the Church is abusing its powers. Because of its non-profit religious status, there is much the church does not have to report, including financial records.

By way of example, there are valid accusations that the Church is practicing for-profit activities with its money such as high salaries and personal perks to upper-leadership and purchases of investment real estate and malls. There are hundreds of reports of sexual abuse by Bishops and other leaders that have been suppressed or brushed aside by internal Church authority. The Church has involved itself in political campaigns without informing members and in defiance of their religious non-profit status.

Through its deception, Mormonism also escapes accountability to its members, which is perhaps even more important. By hiding the church budget, lying about aspects of its history and past doctrines, discouraging or discounting reports of negative experiences of members (especially missionaries), and obfuscating many of its political activities, members are lead to falsely believe an image of their organization which is simply not true. Mormons are not giving their fully informed consent to remain active, believing members.

The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).

Siever completely dismisses this. For the most part, he is right. The actions members make for the church are generally considered ethical, or at worst, in the margins.

Many affairs, rapes, and sexual molestations are dismissed by local church leaders for the higher good of keeping up appearances.

Boyd K. Packer (an Apostle) said, "there is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful. [Emphasis added]" Hiding truth, even if it be in the name of "faith promotion", is very unethical.

Many members do not respect the wishes of ex-Mormons who have asked to be left alone. Others do not respect the individual member's autonomy to make good choices, and will intrude.

Many Mormon scholars, especially BYU professors, are "asked" to restrict their teaching and writing of certain subjects, in defiance of personal and academic integrity. Those who have disobeyed have been fired and/or excommunicated.

Young members are taught that it is better to die than to lose one's chastity, and that sexual sin is second in severity only to murder. This has caused many a struggling youth to commit suicide over what they perceive to be unforgivable thoughts and actions.

The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.

Siever does not attempt to deny this one, either. He claims guilt is induced by the Holy Ghost to help with the repentance process.

This is a great example of "reframing". Reframing is a cult technique of explaining something in such a way that it "proves" the organization to be true, even though there may be another plausible explanation.

Guilt can be caused by repetitive guilt-inducing statements and doctrines. If you repeatedly tell someone that eating chocolate is a serious sin, then when that person eats chocolate, they will feel guilty. It is not proof that eating chocolate is immoral, nor is it proof that a spirit is causing the feeling.

Guilt and shame are very effective means of control used by most cults.

According to Mormon belief, if one sins, one loses the Holy Spirit because they're not worthy. So how can it be the Holy Spirit causing the guilt? You've just sinned, so the Spirit has fled. It must be something else causing the guilt. It's not Satan, because he wants you to sin. So that leaves your beliefs as the source of the guilt. Your beliefs come from the Church.

Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group.

Siever states that members give up goals that are not in harmony with the Gospel. He states that converts are often disowned by their families.

Many Mormon women give up career goals because of the Church's teachings, essentially sacrificing their entire lives. Young men put careers and relationships on pause for missions (during which they are allowed minimal contact with family). There are a great number of activities that are "off limits" because they are not virtuous, lovely, or of good report, or because they "appear evil". Members are encouraged to be careful of their associations.

Because of the "us-vs-them" and elitist mentality described above, many friends and family members treat apostates with disdain or condescension. Often ex-Mormons are disowned, especially gay ex-Mormons or members claiming sexual abuse. Ex-Mormons in areas highly populated by Mormons will lose their jobs or businesses and will be treated terribly by members, even former friends.

Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.

Siever mentions church callings, but does not list the many "service opportunities", church meetings, potlucks, and the lengthy list of time-consuming commandments.

If a good member is to spend the minimum amount of time per week attending their duties, they will devote about 22 hours. This includes a three hour block on Sunday, an average of eight hours for their calling, two hours for miscellaneous meetings (including home/visiting teaching), one hour per day reading scriptures and praying, and two hours for Family Home Evening.

If there is conference, you may spend up to ten hours in a single weekend. If you are a youth, you can count one hour per weekday for Seminary, plus firesides and Mutual activities.

If you are really faithful, you will be involved in service activities or a more time-consuming calling. You may also be reading Church magazines, novels, and non-fiction books. You will also be pursuing Church-approved talents, such as music. You will spend most of Sunday at home, keeping the Sabbath holy by reading the scriptures and listening to uplifting music (that's 16 waking hours right there!) Not to mention Scouts and Girl's Camp.

10% of your time at work is actually going to the Church, in the form of money.

Usually members do not consider this to be an inordinate amount of time, because they never stop to add it up. Ex-Mormons are often surprised at how much free time they suddenly have.

Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members

Siever recognizes that Mormons are encouraged to associate with upstanding people, and to date within the faith.

In reality, most Mormons associate only with other Mormons.
This separation is sometimes "commanded", but this division is more likely a natural side-effect of the "us-vs-them" and elitist mindsets. Additionally, the Mormon-specific jargon and culture makes non-members feel confused, uncomfortable, and excluded. This is one purpose that "groupspeak" serves for a cult.

Conclusion

Siever concludes with a dismissal of the cult label for Mormonism, that those who make this un-Christlist accusation are merely trying to associate occult imagery onto the church.

Langone's cult checklist never once mentions Satanism, witchcraft, or soothsaying, but Siever does. Those who seriously study cults are not interested in the doctrines. Figures like Dr. Langone, Steven Hassan, and Margaret Singer are not interested in what deity the religion worships or what rituals they perform. They are interested in the controlling aspects and unethical actions of the organization.

Siever is attempting to discredit serious consideration of the question, "Does Mormonism control and deceive its members?" This question is important and worthy of consideration, because if it is true, millions of lives are being adversely affected. Millions of people are trapped, spiritually abused, shamed, deceived, repressed, and depressed for no greater cause than one organization's increased power and wealth.
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FAIR: If You Have Questions Then There Must Be Something Wrong With YOU
Wednesday, Oct 26, 2005, at 10:00 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
There is a thread at FAIR where someone is asking where to go for official answers. As you might imagine, the poster is not receiving any answers.

This reply makes me sick:
"If you want an "official" answer about anything you must go through the chain of authority. . .but don't be surprised if he believes that your questions stem from a lack of faith, a failure to pray, a dearth of scripture study, an unresolved sin. . .you should be able to receive answers yourself from the Spirit, and if you cannot then there is something fundamentally wrong with the communication system. And the assumption is that the communication system will never break down from God's side, so if there is a lack of communication then there must be a problem on your side.

If the Bishop feels inadaquate to field your questions, he can refer you up to the Stake President, who is likely to do the same thing as the Bishop. See all that stuff about assumptions. The Stake President could refer you to the Area authority Seventy, but probably won't. Past the Area Authority Seventy would be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, and then the office of the First Presidency. This is the official channel for responses. Unfortunately for you, all these men will be more concerned about your Eternal welfare than they will be about finding historic and logical answers to your questions. They will see your questions as symptoms of apostasy and will go looking for root causes. And any answer that you will be given will probably be personal opinion and not "doctrine" at least at the Bishop and Stake President levels. If you are lucky and get an informed (read apologetic) Bishop or Stake President, they may refer you to FAIR or FARMS or have an answer that came from one of those places. But againit isn't doctrinal, it is an informed and faithful opinion."
Edited: My emphasis added
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FAIR Board Cracking Down On Polygamy Will Hurt New Doubters
Tuesday, Nov 1, 2005, at 07:23 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
When I first went to the "Fair Board" looking for information (desperately trying to find anything to prove that the polygamy history was false), I was sickened by the TBM responses. Most, if not all of the polygamy defenders would practice if commanded by the Mormon Prophet. Had it not been for the John Corrills, Brackites and Rollos on the board, I would have left the church immediately. I found great comfort in knowing that there were LDS active members who hated polygamy, found it to be abusive to women, and came to the same conclusions I did about the horrific history. This helped me to keep searching for understanding and to also keep my testimony of the restoration/Book of Mormon. Once I realized that I was unable to overcome what I learned, I found it difficult to stop believing because I wanted to rely on others testimonies. If the F-board only allows Pro polygamy discussion then I will no longer lurk on that site. As some of you know, I am still active in church but on the brink of leaving. Isn't FAIR supposed to help people like me? How can they help me understand something that is so emotionally abusive to a woman if they won't even discuss the reality of it?

IMO, most new people go to FAIR because they are struggling with doctrine or history. They are looking for anything to save their testimony. I believe the apologists (and I consider almost every one of the TBM's on there to be an apologist) are so out of touch with the average LDS member. Their feelings don't represent most LDS I discuss this with. (since most LDS don't even know the truth about polygamy)

Now, Dunamis isn't allowing any kind of real thoughts or feelings on the subject. It asks the question: "What is the purpose of FAIR?" If they can't even understand why members are struggling with polygamy history, then they aren't going to help anybody stay in the church.

The FAIR website is self serving. They only want to defend themselves and are not interested in saving the lost sheep. To them it's all about a war between the antis and the apologists. It makes me an anti if I question Joseph promising exaltation to women that will marry him. I guess I am an anti since I am bothered that the Prophets taught plural marriage was the only religion in Heaven.

When will they get it? WHen will the TBM's get that this stuff bothers members to the point of leaving the church? Why do they continue to blame doubters or ex mormons of having some horrible sinful desires or lack of obedience on their struggle? POLYGAMY MAKES MOST PEOPLE SICK TO THEIR STOMACH!

Anybody who believes polygamy can bring blessings and happiness is either a man, or they have some mental disorder. (no offense to the men, I know there are so many men out there who hate this doctrine as much as me)
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FAIR Attempts To Blast Hoffman's, "The Golden Pot" Plagarisms To Early Church History
Thursday, Nov 10, 2005, at 08:36 AM
Original Author(s): Noggin
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
I recently became inspired by Tal B. to take a look at just what the brilliant minds over at FAIR or FARMS were saying about the attacks on their faith. I have never done this. I am no scholar, but I thought I might try to see how their explanations would hold up to my non-scholarly brain waves.

I read Grant Palmer's book, "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins" and gleaned much from the pages. I particularly took note to a book called, "The Golden Pot" where I found Mr. Palmer pointing out many significant parallels to early church history. The parallels were obvious plagiarisms by Smith from E.T.A. Hoffman's work, so I wondered if FAIR or FARMS had dared to refute it. Turns out they did. The following article I wrote reviews what FAIR had to say. If I am wrong, I would really appreciate the corrections you might have to show it.

The Golden Pot was published in English in 1827. Hoffman was a sensation in Europe.

From the depths of FAIR apologetics:

"Der golden Topf was first published in Europe in the German language in 1814 and 1819. It was published in French in 1822.24 It was not available in English until 1827 in London and Edinburgh,25 and became available in America that same year. According to Palmer, a man by the name of Luman Walters lived in Paris after the story had been first published and when the story would have been available to him. Palmer suggests, although he offers no real evidence, that Mr. Walters had an unusual interest in the occult and things magical and therefore would surely (despite a lack of evidence) have brought Der golden Topf with him from Europe. "

Noggin: As I will demonstrate below, there is ample evidence as to why any European traveler would indeed bring Hoffman's Golden Pot back with him or her. Hoffman was a brilliant sensation.

FAIR apologetics:
"Mr. Walters moved to Sodus, New York,26 about 25 miles from Palmyra, and lived there at least during the period of 1820 to 1823 when it is suggested that he likely knew Joseph Smith.27 Walters and Joseph Smith were part of a group involved in digging for treasure at Miner's Hill, owned by Abner Cole.

According to Palmer, Luman Walters became acquainted with Joseph Smith during this period, and was thought to be the "most likely conduit" for The Golden Pot to be made available to Joseph Smith. Abner Cole and others claimed that it was during this period the "idea of a 'book' [The Book of Mormon?] was doubtless suggested to the Smiths by one Walters, although they make no direct connection with 'The Golden Pot.'"


Noggin: Did they have to? The material in The Golden Pot IS the connection. The parallels are overwhelmingly similar as a quick review will plainly delineate.

FAIR continues:
"Even as Palmer points to the relationship between Walters and Joseph Smith as a reason to accept The Golden Pot as the basis for early Mormon history, he fails to mention that Brigham Young noted that Walters "rode over sixty miles three times the same season they [the gold plates] were obtained by Joseph" in an effort to obtain the plates for himself. This hardly sounds like a man who had convinced Joseph to concoct the story of the plates based on some fictional story. Either Walters believed the plates were real or knew they were not because of his part in formulating the plan of deception. His desire to obtain them certainly suggests the former and negates the latter. Even this does not establish that Joseph and Walters were acquainted; only that Walters knew about Joseph Smith."

Noggin: FAIR apologetics require one believes every last written account from Smith's right hand man (Brigham Young), yet FAIR will allow no give or take from similar scenarios. Besides, I don't see how this is devastating to the likely contribution to the story of the origins of the mormon church. The parallels between the church's origins and The Golden Pot are that obvious, regardless of when or how Walters and Smith met. The parallels speak for themselves. It is obvious that someone placed Joseph Smith in contact with The Golden Pot.

FAIR is leading the mormon readers into the forest with a Red Herring.

Fair continues:
"In 1820 Joseph Smith received a visit from God the Father and Jesus Christ."

FAIR says this as if it is fact. When was the first written account published? Much later. 1820 is a fictitious, unproven date for a fictitious unproven event that has stacks of factual evidence against ever happening... and only human emotion conveyed through ones feelings to support that it did happen.

" Yet Palmer claims that Joseph received the idea of this divine visit from conversations with Luman Walters sometime during the period 1820-1823. This means that Joseph Smith was chosen by Mr. Walters from a town 25 miles from his own (a significant distance in the 1820s), and was convinced, apparently rather quickly, by virtue of a story Walters related (from the German or the French version as the English version was not available until 1827) to formulate a lifelong plan of deception."

Is it such a stretch that a man traveled 25 miles to talk to a counterpart (Smith)? FAIR should consider what is more of a stretch... An unproven God entity talking to a boy... or a man traveling 25 miles to talk to another man, especially if there was a scheme to make money involved?

Joseph Smith Sr and Joseph Smith Jr. both had established a working relationship with Walters in digging for buried treasure together. All of them employed dubious fraud to deceive and bilk their shared clients (Abner Cole). They all knew they could not see any treasure. This glass looking activity was nothing more than snake oil debauchery.

Treasure digging or "glass looking" was an illegal activity that one could get fined for by the courts for engaging in it. Smith did come before a Judge Neeley to receive such a fine. Therefore, it does make absolute sense that Walters would travel the needed distance to seek out someone like Smith. Smith openly demonstrated his character already as one willing to defraud others. Character like Smith's was of uncommon ilk. So much so that Walters had to go to a neighboring town to find it.

"Palmer never does claim that Joseph ever read the book, only that Walters shared the story with him. Joseph was 15-18 years old at the time, and yet we are to believe that Walters convinced him to adapt and concoct a story that would follow in some crude manner the outline of this fictional book. Somehow Walters convinced this young man, whom he had known for a relatively short time, to commit to living this lie for the rest of his life."

Walters is as likely a character to share Hoffman's Golden Pot story with Smith as anyone. Somebody did it, and it might as well have been Walters. As I mentioned, the parallels to early church history to The Golden Pot reveal this is so. There need not be any further supposition or strong arming to bend Walters as any sort of influence or major player in Joseph's life. Joseph took the story and ran with it, just like he took Oliver Cowdery's contribution and ran with it. Oliver was a member of Ethan Smith's congregation. Ethan Smith wrote "The View of the Hebrews". This book outlines many significant parallels that also show up in the pages of the Book of Mormon. Oliver chose to remain enmeshed in the development. Luman Walters chose to depart. Or perhaps Walters just shared Hoffman's tale and that is the end of it. When Joseph Smith saw the English version of The Golden Pot for sale in 1827, he picked it up and digested it further. That still leaves 3 years before 1830, when the church was organized. Plenty of time to write the church's unfoldings.

"Furthermore Walters had Joseph backdate the beginning event to an earlier year and then begin immediately the deception that would become the central focus of his entire life. This plan had to be followed in spite of the persecution that immediately came into the Prophet's life because of the very nature of the story."

Walter's is here again, posed by FAIR as the strong arming influence when this is so irrelevant to the case. And... what persecution? There was no mention of a revival in 1820, no newspaper clipping or affidavit or local hubbub rumor mill telling or showing that Smith had seen God. No journal accounts from local pastors troubled by Smith's vision.

It is important to clarify that FAIR's "Persecutions" to Joseph Smith came only when Smith began bedding and marrying multiple women and teens and then denying it, defrauding his saints out of their money with the Kirtland Bank Fraud, declaring civil unrest against the Missourians, and crowning himself King of the entire earth.

"Not only did the young Joseph need to commit to this path, it also had to be enthusiastically accepted and followed by his trusting family. According to this scenario his family must have seen some virtue in doing so, although no evidence is given as to what they hoped to gain from this action."

This Smith family is the same who sold ginseng and root beer at county fair type events... claiming it worked wonders. This family practiced and believed in white magic, the faculties of Abrac, tetragramatica, enchanting of spirits, seer stones, magic daggers, magic parchments, magic circles. This family was an odd one. The Smith family hoped to gain the same with Joseph's idea as they did from the fraudulent claims of their ginseng root beer sales, their peep stones, and willingness to bilk money dishonestly from the local townsfolk any way they could. They hope for a better life than the meager existence that was theirs.

"Surely at that time they would have had a challenge seeing any economic advantage to the tale."

Just like they "struggled" to see any economic advantage as to whether or not Smith Sr. and Jr. should bilk a man out of his money by claiming they could see buried treasure on his lands.

"Either that, or Joseph was able to immediately take the story verbally related to him (as he was unable to read it in the German or French), make the personal commitment needed, and then quickly convince his family that it was true and that God had, indeed, visited him a few years ago and that he had just forgot to mention it.

Kind of hard to imagine isn't it?"


Noggin: No, actually, it is not kind of hard to imagine. What is hard to imagine is how mormons cannot see the blatant plagerizing going on from Hoffman's book. Significant parts of Mormon history are in part a blatant rip off from Hoffman's mind. It is also hard to imagine FAIR scholars neglecting to recall how more than 5 different accounts of the First Vision were written by Smith. Each one vastly different than the last as far as who visited him and the message he was told in that visit. The First vision was a tall tale that grew taller each time he described it. And as for his family, they were already on display as I mentioned earlier as willing to dupe and defraud. That their son came up with a whopper of a tale to further this design fits right in line. FAIR paints this family as stellar puritanical saints who could never fall for godless lies or trickery. One needs only to turn a few pages of Lucy Mack Smith's autobiography to see the willingness of that Matriarch to tell a few aggrandized and tall tales herself. The Patriarch, Smith Sr., was part and parcel to the dubious character sketch with his treasure digging, water witching... let's not forget the various wacky prophecies and odd statements he made. Young Joseph had to reign in his odd duck father a time or two.

FAIR continues:
"We are also required to accept the critic's common accusation that Joseph Smith was lazy and shiftless, and still acknowledge that he was yet able, at a young age, to commit to a life that would tax his very being. Certainly if we are to believe The Golden Pot scenario we could at least remove the lazy and shiftless label from the young Joseph. However, we all know his critics will not likely allow this to happen anytime soon."

Red Herring. Joseph Smith's work ethic has little to do with the accusation that he was able to take significant portions of the Famed author Hoffan's Golden Pot and incorporate them into his tall tale. So what? Then, let's say Smith was the most strapping, busy, overworked poor young sap in the state of New York. Does that pry the death grip off the evidence in early church history? Hardly.

FAIR continues:
"Palmer would have us believe that a young, gullible boy would be turned into an aggressive, effective charlatan, in a very short time, after being told a fictional tale by a relative stranger--and that this boy's family would give him complete support in his fabrication."

This young gullible boy was already an effective charlatan. Smith was convicted of money digging. It does not get any clearer than that. I guess FAIR goes with the attack that if they repeat an inaccuracy enough times the faithful will believe them. I have now had to debunk the same items over and over thus far in this post. It is getting tediously annoying.

"The very nature of this assertion would make someone with any sort of reasoning ability cringe at the thought that someone might actually believe Palmer's fantastic tale. Surely we need to go back to some of the time honored alleged sources, although thoroughly discredited, for the Book of Mormon and resurrect the Spaulding Manuscript or the View of the Hebrews, for even as poorly supported as those arguments are, they are much more believable than the story of The Golden Pot."

"Sorry Grant, this just isn't creditable history. Not even close!"

And we are supposed to gulp down what you (FAIR) just came up with as an alternate explanation? No cringing with that?

More interesting notes and information on E.T.A. Hoffman:

HOFFMAN'S INFLUENCE:

Ever seen the christmas ballet, The Nutcracker? That came directly out of Hoffman's head.
ETA Hoffman wrote famed "The Nutcracker" in 1816
http://users.htcomp.net/weis/nutcrintro.html

In Berlin, Hoffmann became the author to read, if you read at all, he was a sensation that swept Europe.

From this website on Hoffman's influence, http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/hoffman.htm , We read of the noted effect Mr. Hoffman had on the 19th century American readership:

"[Hoffman's] tales, which weave the fantastic closely into real world, had enormous influence particularly in the United States, and affected the writings of Washington Irving, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. Hoffmann's opera The Water Sprite is still occasionally performed. - The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung read the The Devil's Elixirs in 1909. He found its problems "palpably real" and it also influenced his theory of the archetypes. John Kerr has later pointed out that all the major archetypes discovered by Jung in his self-analysis appear in Hoffmann's novel. (Jung in Contexts, ed. by Paul Bishop, 1999) Sigmund Freud referred to the novel in his study 'The Uncanny' (1919), but he had written already in 1885 in a letter to Martha Bernays: "I have been reading off and on a few things by the 'mad' Hoffmann, mad, fantastic stuff, here and there a brilliant thought".

Hoffman's works translated to English:

Sir Walter Scott translated long excerpts and synopses of the plots of "The Entail" (Das Majorat) and "The Sandmann" (Der Sandmann) in Scott's article
"On the Supernatural in Fictitious Composition, and in Particularly in the works of E.T.W.Hoffmann". in: [London] Foreign Quarterly Review, I, 1 (July) 1827, pp. 60-98

British readership warmly recieved Hoffman's style and concept. Simultaneously, Americans reached out to embrace the Hoffman sensation.

"...the American readership [was] drawn to [E.T.A. Hoffman's] historical and musical tales, the earliest translations being The Lost Reflection (Die Geschichte vom verlornen Spiegelbilde), a comical tale, translated anonymously and published in 1826 in the [Boston] Athenaeum, Holcraft's translation of Das Fräulein von Scuderi, published in Tales of Humour and Romance in New York and Baltimore in 1829, and Gluck (Ritter Gluck) in the [Boston] American Monthly Magazine in 1830."

The Devil's Elixir was translated to English by Scotsman R.P. Gillies in 1824

The Golden Pot was translated to English in 1827. R.P. Gillies's contemporary, THOMAS CARLYLE, translated Hoffmann's tale The Golden Pot to English and included a biographical introduction of its author. It was published in 1827 as part of his collection of German contemporary writers [in] German Romance.
http://www.petra.demon.co.uk/Hoffmann...
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More Mind-Boggling Apologetic Antics From The Self Proclaimed Masters Of Erudition At Fair
Thursday, Nov 17, 2005, at 09:17 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
They're working overtime at FAIR/FARMs to save the Gospel™ from the truth.
"Even when horses are confirmed to have been present, that will not mean that they were used. That makes it even more interesting that the Book of Mormon never shows the horses doing anything more than walking. Personally, I suspect that the "horses" that are prepared with the "chariots" may have been riding on platforms rather than pulling them. Look at the so-called wheeled toys. They are very often wheeled platforms with an animal on them - and no indication that any beast of burden might pull them. I suspect that they were miniatures of procession vehicles that were pulled on the ceremonial roads that sometimes linked Maya cities (called sacbeob). - Brant Gardner FAIR 2005"
http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?s...

What a spin job! The reason there were so few (can you say zero?) horses in Pre-Columbian America is because the horses were busy riding on the chariots. Holy Cow Pies! What extremes they will go to in order to maintain their fragile belief in the Latter Day Fraud.

I wish I could draw cartoons; I can just see a DCP and friends drawn chariot with the horse riding on the chariot wielding a whip in its mouth.
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Top Ten Reasons To Love Anti-Mormons
Saturday, Nov 19, 2005, at 08:07 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
From Fair:

1. "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself"(Mt 22:39), and "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you." (Mt 5:44)

2. Their efforts tend to generate interest in the Church, and keep our faith frequently in the public eye, which helps our missionary work prosper when they are around.

3. They provide us with a unique insight into the life of the Savior by demonstrating what it must have been like for him to deal with the Scribes and Pharisees.

4. Who else is going to motivate us to study the peripheral, obscure, and markedly unimportant aspects of our religion.

5. They make us laugh with their obtuse, inane, dubious, nefarious, absurd, rancorous, and spiteful antics.

6. We get to dust off our Logic 101 books, and find application for the many fallacies we learned about in school.

7. They give religious bigotry a bad name.

8. Their "cottage" industry is a boost to local economies--particularly paper and print businesses; and their tracts provide a cheap source of fuel for wood stoves and fireplaces.

9. We are no longer left to wonder: "how many times can the same weak and well-refuted claims be made against our faith?" (Infinity!); and, "to what extent will anti-Mormons go in forwarding their un-Christ-like agendas?" (Anything goes--including "lying for the Lord".)

10. They provide a loving "home" for the chronic discontents, and they help make even the most misinformed and unscholarly writers of religion feel important and erudite
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FAIR Board Members Comments On $4.2 Million Dollar LDS Sexual Lawsuit - Blame The Victim
Thursday, Nov 24, 2005, at 12:25 PM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Some of my favorites:
"The victim in this case is in a far worse situation now than she was. When you get revenge, you don't "feel better." You feel worse because you are disobeying God. Vengeance is the Lord's."

"If it were Christ's money, I couldn't imagine a better place for it than with victims of child abuse. If it is the Corporation of the First Presidency's money, than it would be better used to grow the assets of the corporation, and is being wasted as the result of an overly litigious society and an ignorant jury"

"But in sueing the Church, she knew she was not going after those most responsible, her father, and her mother for telling her not to tell. She went after money. Money would not restore her stolen childhood. It was vengenace pure and simple. In our mortal experience, vengeance comes from the adversary. Whenever you give in to the enticings of Satan you are worse off."
Oh, this is good!
"There is a sad aspect to this, not from the Church's viewpoint. We are in a culture that is increasingly causing a victim mentality. With this shift away from personal responsibility and accountability, people are being treated as increasingly incompetent. Then they become so. They give up their agency. It isn't taken from them."

"My conclusion is that this is little more a bread-and-butter case of transferring blame and finding some degree of solice by going after the deep pockets."

"The Church should absolutely appeal this decision because it is so clearly wrong."
And the best of them all:
"The Church has never had a policy of hiding crimes and misdeeds of it's members and if fact there are clear doctrines to the opposite."
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Message from CLee In Response To President of FAIR
Thursday, Dec 1, 2005, at 12:11 PM
Original Author(s): Clee
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
MESSAGE FROM CLEE

Inspired by the Message from the President of FAIR at http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/journal/F...

During this time between Thanksgiving and Smithmas, it is always a good time to remember how lucky we are to be doing anything other than attending another long drawn out Sacrament Meeting. Thanks to Al Gore, we now live in the age where we are blessed by the Internet. Information is at our fingertips. But as we look at the information, we need to be aware of accuracy.

First, things that are written can be false. They can be purposefully written to deceive, or they could simply be the product of the passage of time and a faulty memory. But in either case, they are still false.

Second, the information written may be correct, but incomplete.

Sometimes what is really important is what isn't said. An example of this is in Scott Gordon’s (President of FAIR) description of so-called Anti-Mormon deceptions:
“Much has been made of this in newly published anti-Mormon books and on Web sites. The claim is that Harris and the other witnesses never saw the plates. What this claim does is leave out the other statements that Harris and others made on the subject, thereby leading readers to certain false conclusions.” (Message from the President - The FAIR Journal Nov. 2005)
Gordon and most other apologists make similar statements claiming that Anti-Mormons deceive by omitting relevant information.
“Leaving these statements out shows either a lack of research, or an attempt of deception. This then brings up the questions, if the anti-Mormon argument is so strong, why do they need to deceive? Why is evidence to the contrary simply left out as if it doesn't exist?” (ibid)
What Gordon, Peterson, et al fail to mention are the thousands even tens of thousands of statements where Anti-Mormons are not omitting relevant information. Clearly leaving these statements out shows either a lack of research or an attempt at deception. This brings up the questions; if the Mormon Apologist’s arguments are so strong, why do they need to deceive? Why are evidences contrary to their position simply left out as if they did not exist?

Much of what I do in researching Mormonism is simply going back to the source material and see if it is in context, if it was written at the time it occurred, if it was written by someone who was actually there, and finally seeing if there are more occasions where the story is discussed. Where do I get the source material? The Journal of Discourses, The Times and Seasons, Lectures on Faith, 1830 Book of Mormon. So much for "hiding the truth." So, while you are looking at things on the Internet, be cautious of accuracy. Don't just look for things that are wrong, but look also for information that may be left out.
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What Are The Right Reasons For Becoming A Non-Member? FAIR Answers The Question
Thursday, Dec 1, 2005, at 03:25 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Over on FAIR, the following question was asked:
"What are the right reasons for becoming a non-member?"
And the answer, provided by my favorite fanatical Mormon, "Charity" was a good one:
"The only "right" reason I can think of is if the person will be bringing more condemnation down on his/her head by being a member and breaking commandments."
So basically, if I can understand the logic (if you would call it that) of Charity, the only reason a person leaves Mormonism is soley to break commandments without more condemnation. Charity fully believes that Ex-Mormons leave the cult of Mormonism so they can sin without condemnation. It isn't about the doctrines being false, it isn't about multiple first visions, it isn't about Joseph Smith totally miss-translating the Book of Abraham ... No, it's all about wanting to sin. And all of us Ex-Mormons are out sinning every minute of the day - every chance we can get! Indeed!

Charity right now is defiantly my most favorite fanatical Mormon over on the FAIR boards.
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Update On Utah Lighthouse Ministry, Inc. Vs Allen Wyatt Of FAIR
Monday, Dec 5, 2005, at 08:10 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
PDF Version of Filed Document: http://www.utlm.org/onlineresources/t...

Looks like FAIR tried to have the lawsuit dismissed however the judge did not allow it - the trial continues.

"Between November 19 and 20, 2003, Mr. Wyatt registered the following domain names: utahlighthouse.com, sandratanner.com, utahlighthouseministry.com, geraldtanner.com, gernaldtanner.org, utahlighthouse.org, utahlighthouseministry.org, sandratanner.org, jeraldtanner.com, jeraldtanner.org, utahlighthouse.info, jerlandtanner.info, and sandratanner.info. Also on those dates, Mr. Wyatt established a website ("the Wyatt website") for those domain names and/or redirected users to the Wyatt website. The HTML source code for the Wyatt website includes the terms "Tanner," "Tanners," "Sandra Tanner," and "Jerald Tanner" in the meta tags section."

Allen Wyatt is a snake. During the time that Grant Palmer was being hauled into Mormon Courts, the Ex-Mormon community was discussing setting up a site called "savegrantpalmer.com". Allen, a true Troll (as well as a snake), ran off and registered the website before anyone else could.

Allen Wyatt is despicable. He will do anything to lie and deceive to protect Mormonism.
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The Smell Of Coffee Can Lead You Down The Path Of Destruction
Tuesday, Dec 20, 2005, at 08:06 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
From the FAIR boards:
"Here is an example of someone driving very close to the cliff. First, Satan tempts you with the smell of the coffee, next you will be tempted to eat coffee-flavored ice cream and other such things, then you will order a Jamocha shake from Arby's, and pretty soon the adversary will have you in his trap and you will be addicted like millions of other poor lost souls who can't start their day without a $4 Grande Gingerbread latte with a double shot of espresso from Starbucks. And then your eternal marriage will crumble around you and Satan and his demonic angels will laugh with glee at having snatched away another of God's chosen people from the path of righteousness and virtue. Heed this warning: avoid even the smell or sight of coffee or any other evil substance with which the devil is tempting you."
Looks like Satan already has Washington.
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Definition Of Anti-Mormon According To FAIR
Thursday, Dec 22, 2005, at 08:52 AM
Original Author(s): Clee
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
According to FAIR anyone who
  1. Disagrees with any word of prophetic counsel uttered or published by the current President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Church"); or
  2. Disagrees with any word of doctrine uttered or published by the Quorum of the 12 Apostles acting in unison; or
  3. Denies the literal truth of the Holy Scriptures currently canonized by the Church; or
  4. Does not believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God until the very end of his life (and continues to serve the Lord beyond the grave) and Brigham Young his rightful successor to all the keys of the priesthood; or
  5. Does not believe that Gordon B. Hinckley is the rightful successor to the priesthood keys and offices held by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young through an unbroken chain of succession; or
  6. Speaks or writes anywhere anything critical or negative about the Church, its leaders, its scriptures, its members, its properties, its history, or any of its activities whenever or wherever conducted; or
  7. Engages in any conduct that has the intention or effect of leading any member of the Church to {a} doubt any of the foundational truth claims of the Church, {b} lessen activity levels in the Church, or {c} feel a diminution or loss of the Spirit.
Is an "Anti-Mormon" which would include 99.9999% of the world's population. So to join the ranks of sane people everywhere I CLee do hereby invoke my un-priesthood to exercise the following un-ordinance.

Imaginary Un-Temple worker:
Brother CLee, having authority, I give you a New Name, which you should always remember, and which you must use mockingly at every opportunity, and always reveal with much lightmindedness, loud laughter, evil speaking of the Lord's anointed, including the taking of the name of God in vain, and committing several unholy and impure practices; .. The name is "CLee the Anti-Mormon."

Bow your head and say "bullshit"
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Charity, An Amateur Apologist Coughs Up A FAIR Ball - If You Are "Anti" You Have Already Lost
Monday, Jan 9, 2006, at 07:36 AM
Original Author(s): Clee
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
In a stunning display of anti-logic and anti-reason a part-time apologist applies her skill to “Why the anti’s can’t win.”
“Being against something automatically puts a person in the losing camp. The person who gets to be FOR a position wins the argument. …

Notice how the abortion debate has been framed by the two sides. Those opposed to abortion call themselves pro-life. Those in favor of abortion call themselves pro-choice. Nobody wants the tag anti.

So what can the anti-Mormon's do? If they want to adopt a pro position, they can't attack, because they have to advance a positive position. Then they can't have the fun of pot shots. Flaming arrows. Poisoned darts.

So the anti's are set up to lose. Oh, yes. And we have the truth on our side.” – Charity FAIR 1/9/2006
Her brain must hurt from twisting itself so much.

Proudly wearing the label "ANTI".
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Ex-Mormonism Is Referred To As "Spiritual Pornography", How About Referrering To The Fair Boards As "Spiritual Masturbation"
Thursday, Jan 12, 2006, at 08:11 AM
Original Author(s): Nisfor
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
This gem from the Fair Boards:
It appears that several neologisms have been spawned relating "spirituality" to the baser sexual desires -

First came the term "spiritual infidelity" to describe apostacy, or loss of faith in the LDS church after making "sacred promises" in the temple.

Now the phrase"spiritual pornography" has been coined to refer to such "wretched hives of scum and villainy" such as the RfM board.

Let me throw the newest twist into the mix. How about referring to the FAIR boards as - "spiritual masturbation".
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Allen Wyatt And Daniel C. Peterson Of Fair Registering New Websites In Order To Help Confuse Members And Non-Members - In Essence They Are Stooping To "Porn Site" Tactics
Wednesday, Feb 8, 2006, at 07:03 AM
Original Author(s): Anonymous
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
The MORG is mounting an Internet offensive.

It was noted recently on this board that when one googles "mormon", a paid advertisement for the "More Good Foundation" (MGF) appears. This foundation is located in Orem, and its purpose is to flood the Internet with inter-linked pro-mormon websites so that anything critical to the Church is buried below the pro-mormon sites. The president of the foundation is apologist Allen L Wyatt and the MGF website has a video of Daniel C. Peterson commenting on the MGF charter.

I suspect that the MGF is a front that is funded indirectly by tithing money, but it might be privately funded. More than 200 domain names were recently purchased by the MGF, and the foundation offers to buy and help with the development of any pro-lds site that a TBM wants to build. A recent meeting at the foundation featured a lecture by the LDS Church's coordinator of websites.

The members-only section of the site contains links to information on how to "cheat" search-engines so that your site comes up higher when someone does a search. The foundation is also working with an Orem-based search-engine optimization marketing firm . There is also an effort to publish pro-mormon sites in different languages.

What follows is a listing of the websites that were recently purchased by the MGF. Notice how they nearly all have the same links on them. All of them link to the main pro-LDS sites. When Google indexes these sites, it increases the ratings of the pro-LDS websites.

Note also that domains such as "antimormonism.com" and "debunkingmormonism.com" have been purchased. This reminds one of the ploy used by the Church of Scientology when it infiltrated, bankrupted, and purchased the Cult Awareness Network, one of its biggest critics. Scientology now owns the Cult Awareness Network!

The following domains have recently been registered by Allen Wyatt and Daniel C. Peterson: http://aboutmormons.com, http://aboutmormons.org, http://africanamericanmormons.com, http://africanamericanmormons.org, http://africanmormons.com, http://africanmormons.org, http://aigrejamormon.com, http://aigrejamormon.org, http://allaboutmormons.com, http://allaboutmormons.org, http://anchorageldstemple.com, http://anchorageldstemple.org, http://anchoragemormontemple.com, http://anchoragemormontemple.org, http://anchoragetemple.org, http://antimormonism.com, http://antimormonism.org, http://anythingmormon.com, http://arizonaldstemple.com, http://arizonaldstemple.org, http://arizonamormontemple.com, http://arizonamormontemple.org, http://arizonatemple.com, http://arizonatemple.org, http://atlantaldstemple.com, http://atlantaldstemple.org, http://atlantamormontemple.com, http://atlantamormontemple.org, http://batonrougeldstemple.com, http://batonrougeldstemple.org, http://batonrougemormontemple.com, http://batonrougemormontemple.org, http://batonrougetemple.com, http://batonrougetemple.org, http://birminghamldstemple.com, http://birminghamldstemple.org, http://birminghammormontemple.com, http://birminghammormontemple.org, http://boiseldstemple.com, http://boiseldstemple.org, http://boisemormontemple.com, http://boisemormontemple.org, http://bookofmormonarchaeology.com, http://bostonldstemple.com, http://bostonldstemple.org, http://bostonmormontemple.com, http://bostonmormontemple.org, http://chicagoldstemple.com, http://chicagoldstemple.org, http://chicagomormontemple.com, http://chicagomormontemple.org, http://daybreakldstemple.com, http://daybreakldstemple.org, http://daybreakmormontemple.com, http://daybreakmormontemple.org, http://daybreaktemple.com, http://daybreaktemple.org, http://dcldstemple.com, http://dcldstemple.org, http://dcmormontemple.com, http://dcmormontemple.org, http://dctemple.org, http://debunkingmormonism.com, http://defendingmormonism.com, http://defendingmormonism.org, http://explainingmormonism.com, http://explainingmormonism.org, http://fresnoldstemple.com, http://fresnoldstemple.org, http://fresnomormontemple.com, http://fresnomormontemple.org, http://fresnotemple.com, http://fresnotemple.org, http://gardengethsemane.org, http://goodfamilies.org, http://gospelwiki.org, http://historyofmormonism.com, http://idahofallsldstemple.com, http://idahofallsldstemple.org, http://idahofallsmormontemple.com, http://idahofallsmormontemple.org, http://idahofallstemple.org, http://igrejamormon.com, http://igrejamormon.org, http://insidemormonism.com, http://insidemormonism.org, http://insidemormontemples.com, http://insidemormontemples.org, http://internationalmormons.com, http://internationalmormons.org, http://isthebookofmormontrue.com, http://isthebookofmormontrue.org, http://italiantemple.com, http://italiantemple.org, http://konaldstemple.com, http://konaldstemple.org, http://konamormontemple.com, http://konamormontemple.org, http://konatemple.com, http://konatemple.org, http://laieldstemple.com, http://laieldstemple.org, http://laiemormontemple.com, http://laiemormontemple.org, http://laietemple.com, http://laietemple.org, http://lastdispensation.org, http://learnaboutmormons.com, http://learnaboutmormons.org, http://librodimormon.net, http://librodimormon.org, http://louisvilleldstemple.com, http://louisvilleldstemple.org, http://louisvillemormontemple.com, http://louisvillemormontemple.org, http://louisvilletemple.com, http://louisvilletemple.org, http://meetthemormons.com, http://meetthemormons.org, http://mesaldstemple.com, http://mesaldstemple.org, http://mesamormontemple.com, http://mesamormontemple.org, http://mesatemple.org, http://mormonanswers.org, http://mormonapologetics.com, http://mormonapologetics.org, http://mormonconferencetalks.com, http://mormonconferencetalks.org, http://mormondiversity.com, http://mormondiversity.org, http://mormondoctrine.us, http://mormonendowment.com, http://mormonendowment.net, http://mormonendowment.org, http://mormonendowments.com, http://mormonendowments.net, http://mormonendowments.org, http://mormonfamilies.org, http://mormonfounder.com, http://mormonfounder.org, http://mormonismwiki.com, http://mormonismwiki.org, http://mormonopinion.com, http://mormonopinion.org, http://mormonorigins.com, http://mormonracism.com, http://mormonresearch.com, http://mormonresearch.org, http://mormonservice.com, http://mormonservice.org, http://mormonshelp.com, http://mormonshelp.org, http://mormonsports.org, http://mormontabernacleorgan.com, http://mormontempleceremonies.com, http://mormontempleceremonies.org, http://mormontempleceremony.com, http://mormontempleceremony.org, http://mormontempleendowment.com, http://mormontempleendowment.net, http://mormontempleendowment.org, http://mormontempleendowments.com, http://mormontempleendowments.net, http://mormontempleendowments.org, http://mormontemplegarments.com, http://mormontemplegarments.org, http://mormontempleritual.com, http://mormontempleritual.org, http://mormontestimony.com, http://mormontestimony.org, http://mormonworship.com, http://nauvooldstemple.com, http://nauvooldstemple.org, http://nauvoomormontemple.com, http://nauvoomormontemple.org, http://newmormonhistory.com, http://newmormonhistory.org, http://orlandoldstemple.com, http://orlandoldstemple.org, http://orlandomormontemple.com, http://orlandomormontemple.org, http://realmormoninfo.com, http://realmormoninfo.org, http://redlandsldstemple.com, http://redlandsldstemple.org, http://redlandsmormontemple.com, http://redlandsmormontemple.org, http://rexburgldstemple.com, http://rexburgldstemple.org, http://rexburgmormontemple.com, http://rexburgmormontemple.org, http://rexburgtemple.com, http://rexburgtemple.org, http://rometemple.com, http://rometemple.org, http://sacramentoldstemple.com, http://sacramentoldstemple.org, http://sacramentomormontemple.com, http://sacramentomormontemple.org, http://snowflakeldstemple.com, http://snowflakeldstemple.org, http://snowflakemormontemple.com, http://snowflakemormontemple.org, http://snowflaketemple.com, http://snowflaketemple.org, http://tempiodiroma.com, http://tempiodiroma.org, http://tempioitaliano.com, http://tempioitaliano.org, http://templimormoni.com, http://templimormoni.org, http://truemormonism.com, http://truemormonism.org, http://twinfallsldstemple.com, http://twinfallsldstemple.org, http://twinfallsmormontemple.com, http://twinfallsmormontemple.org, http://twinfallstemple.org, http://understandingmormonism.com, http://understandingmormonism.net, http://understandingmormonism.org, http://washingtonldstemple.com, http://washingtonldstemple.org, http://washingtonmormontemple.com, http://washingtonmormontemple.org, http://washingtontemple.com, http://washingtontemple.org, http://webmormon.com, http://webmormon.org
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The Life And Times Of An Apostate Posting At FAIRLDS
Tuesday, Mar 7, 2006, at 07:56 AM
Original Author(s): Noggin
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
1. I learned that Steve Benson lied about the details of his meeting with Maxwell and Oaks... and the claim that Steve Benson lied is made certain because this FAIR poster asked Daniel Peterson who said Steve Benson lied about it.

2. I learned that there are quite a few Mormons who believe that Mormons do not claim to have sole possession of the truth. When I pointed out the quotes from JSH, I was told that I was misinterpreting. I was told that I "just don't get it"

3. I learned that as an apostate, I was "obsessed". Offline my obsession was qualified by the asserter to mean I was relentless in my point making. I noted that this same poster had over 3300 posts at FAIRLDS in the last year.

4. I was picked apart for the smallest of inaccuracies. Even down to picking apart the semantics of my sentance structure.

5. I learned that Mormons can be just as rude as we are accused of being rude here. I was mocked, many times.

6. I learned that if I concede that I could be wrong about my opinion about the church, that is an admission that I am doubting. I was promptly invited to "come back" to Mormonism.

7. I learned that there are relatively few Mormons who will concede that they might be, in theory, could be, wrong about their faith... er sorry.. I also learned that there are many Mormons who no longer have faith... they have sure knowledge. I wondered out loud if there was a massive scale of "callings and elections made sure" going on. They did not think that was funny. BUT how else are they basing their "sure and factual knowledge" of their religious claims?

8. I learned that many mormons view their testimony is factual. I learned that their testimony is "way more" than feelings. But when asked as to how it is way more than feelings, I only got nebulous conjecture... something to do with "because it just is and you obviously do not understand that even though I have explained this to you several times".

9. When pushed to the wall and confronted with the other world religion testimonies that claim exclusivity to God's One and Only True Church on Earth, I learned that there is a new trend in Mormonism to explain this. I learned that these other One and Only True Churches are not asking God in the "proper manner" if their church is true. When I pushed for an explanation, I was told that these other church NEVER ask god if their church is true. When I provided documented sources to counter, I got zero response. Well, one gent tried to respond, but he was not helpful. I believe he said that he doubted that they really asked.

10. I learned that if you try to be cordial in dialogue, the FAIRLDS poster is relentless and will hound your mistakes to the last second you are on the board. I found that they delight in this. For instance, I thought that by designating the opponent as "those FARMS minds" or "the minds at FARMS" I would be building kind repoire. Wrong. I found it humorous that they nailed me to the cross with that. I learned that if you call their leading defenders a "FARMS mind" it is a type of pinnacle insult and they will never let you forget it. If you know what is good for you, for the love of god, never EVER call them a "FARMS mind" ;)

11. I learned that if you do not post an exact reference, you are damned, scorned, mocked, and cast into the light of a fool. I also learned if you do post an exact reference you are worse off than if you hadn't. For that is when you get placed in FAIR purgatory.

12. I learned that if you actually point out something that makes sense, and which is documented, your thread gets locked down by the moderators and you are put in some ephemeral "que" into some probationary warning status. I was warned.

That was enough for me. After being warned, I decided that I was not welcome there. I might go back and post some day.

They seem to be good enough folk.
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Some Musings On The FAIR Board Posts Re: Racism
Monday, Mar 13, 2006, at 06:05 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
This post is not intended as a "board war," but rather just a few observations for the benefit of RfM readers. A few days ago, the juvenile TBM troll "ICU" recommended that we read this FAIR board thread (to which he provided a link) to get educated on the Mormon racism issue. I just now got around to reading the thread, and I have just three comments.

First, I chuckled at a warning from a board moderator to a poster whose remarks were apparently edited:

>Moderator: If you ever come close to another statement about the behavior of a group of people based on their race, you will be banned.


Gee, according to this moderator's standards of etiquette, a LOT of things should be banned from being quoted on the FAIR board, including:

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Moses

The Book of Abraham

"Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith"

Teachings of various LDS church leaders as quoted at

http://www.realmormonhistory.com/godandskin.htm

and

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.mormon/msg/6eb5cd1c27a5d5a4

One wonders, are the FAIR board moderators willing to require the same standards of etiquette and racial tolerance from their "scriptures" and "prophets" as they expect from board posters?

Second: The TBM poster on that thread going by "Pahoran" is IRL one Russell McGregor, who is an insufferable blowhard geek from New Zealand who was run off from alt.religion.mormon several years ago after showing his complete ignorance by boldly asserting that as time passes, scientific research is proving the BOM to be true more and more. DuWayne Anderson, myself, and a few other posters raked him over the coals for that silliness, and he soon thereafter slinked away.

On the FAIR thread, Pahoran/Russell demanded that a critic provide quotes where church leaders taught/approved the "Negroes were fence-sitters in the pre-existence" concept. In the link from ARM I provide above, many such quotes are cited where church leaders term blacks "less valiant spirits" and similar verbiage which amount to teaching the "fence-sitters" concept.

For an example of how I refuted Pahoran/Russell on ARM re: the race issue years ago, see

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.religion.mormon/msg/9dba1244f6e8be0c

Last comment---An apparently TBM poster named Selek wrote:

>I would also like to point out, that whatever disadvantages, whatever prohibitions, whatever limitations have been imposed on people in this country, be they black, white, green, grey or purple, have been the work of MEN. >There is nothing in the Book of Mormon, or in the Bible, nor in any inspired work that I have seen that indicates to me that God loves any one of his children more or less than any other.


Hmmm, I guess that Selek hasn't read those parts of the Book of Mormon where God turned the skins of the Lamanites "dark and loathsome" so they wouldn't be sexually enticing to the "white and delightsome" Nephites. Exactly how does having innocent babies born "dark and loathsome" because of the alleged wickedness of their parents demonstrate God's love?

And I suppose that Selek hasn't read the passages in the "Book of Moses", chapter 7, where God caused a "blackness [to come] upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people...and had not place among them." Boy, you can just see God's love shining through, can't ya?

And then there are the passages in the "Book of Abraham," chapter 1, wherein that loving god of Mormonism allowed a descendant of Cain---the daughter of "Egyptus"---to survive the global flood, so that her posterity would preserve the curse of black skin in the land.

Thus we see that the god of Mormonism practices discrimination by punishing innocent babies with being born into the accursed lineage of Cain, and receiving a black skin which causes them to be despised among lighter-skinned people.

Can't you just feel the love?

As I wrote to ICU---If you are a believing Mormon, then you are a racist by extension. The only way you can change your status is to disavow Mormonism. Mormonism is a racist religion by virtue of what it teaches in its canonized "scriptures."

I again quote from currently-serving LDS General Authority Alexander Morrison:

"Unfortunately, racism–the abhorrent and morally destructive theory that claims superiority of one person over another by reason of race, color, ethnicity, or cultural background–remains one of the abiding sins of societies the world over. The cause of much of the strife and conflict in the world, racism is an offense against God and a tool in the devil’s hands. In common with other Christians, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regret the actions and statements of individuals who have been insensitive to the pain suffered by the victims of racism and ask God’s forgiveness for those guilty of this grievous sin. The sin of racism will be eliminated only when every human being treats all others with the dignity and respect each deserves as a beloved child of our Heavenly Father.

"How grateful I am that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has from its beginnings stood strongly against racism in any of its malignant manifestations."

Physician, heal thyself.
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Absolutely Pathetic - FAIR Starts Up New WIKI, States Information On Joseph Smith's Plural Marriages Is "Sketchy"
Monday, Apr 3, 2006, at 07:45 AM
Original Author(s): Randy Jordan
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
These FAIR responses are written like sophomoric "talking points" that political groups hand out to their spokespersons to repeat in the media. It's obvious that the exmormon website and this BB are doing them serious damage, because the issues FAIR responded to are some of the most frequently discussed ones here on the BB.

I found this part particularly amusing:

>Plural marriage was certainly not in keeping with the values of "mainstream America" in Joseph Smith's day. However, modern readers also judge the age of the marriage partners by modern standards, rather than the standards of the nineteenth century.


While the FAIRbots try to defend the age differences between Smith and his side women, their argument is demolished by the simple fact that Smith's polygamous relationships were not legal marriages in any shape, form, or fashion. Imagine, if you will, an apologist for Bill Clinton defending his relationship with Monica Lewinsky by saying that their age difference wasn't a big deal, while ignoring the fact that Clinton was already married and had a child. This is exactly what the FAIRbots are doing here.

Polygamy was illegal in Joseph Smith's day, and was specifically prohibited by Joseph Smith's own published scriptures (DandC, 1835 edition.) Smith also publicly denied that he taught or practiced polygamy, and denounced those who accused him of doing so. It's pathetic that FAIR is begging us not to judge Smith by 21st century "standards," when it is obvious that we can condemn his behavior by 19th century standards as well as his own publicly-stated standards.

The FAIRbots then provide some examples where older men married much younger women by writing:

>Within Todd Compton's book on Joseph Smith's marriages, he also mentions the following monogamous marriages


[The marriages FAIR lists are]

Lucinda Pendleton-William Morgan
Marinda Johnson-Orson Hyde
Almira McBride-Sylvester Stoddard
Fanny Young-Roswell Murray

Note that the FAIR author terms these marriages "monogamous," while anyone who has read Compton's book knows that all of these women were "plural wives" of Joseph Smith while also being legally married to their named husbands---thus, FAIR's depiction of those marriages as "monogamous" is a lie. Also, the fact that some 19th-century marriages between older men and much younger women occurred (just as they do today), they were and are the exception, not the rule. And again, Smith's relationships with those women were illegal extra-marital affairs---not legal marriages---thus making FAIR's citing of them in their defense of Smith even more stupid.

Furthermore, let's not forget, as I've pointed out in the past, that most of the girls and young women whom Smith "plural married" went on to marry other men after Smith's death, and raised families with them. So it's not like Smith "plural married" them because they were otherwise unfit candidates for marriage in the eyes of other men.

As for whether or not Smith had sex with Helen Kimball, I'll repeat my comments from a few days ago that even if he did not, his teachings and practices indicate that he fully intended to at some point. His "revelation on celestial marriage" clearly states that the purpose of "plural marriage" is to take "virgins" and "multply and replenish the earth." Many statements of Smith whom his closest friends and followers recorded further reinforce that idea. I'll also remind readers that Smith was killed shortly after being "sealed" to Helen, so he simply may not have had time to consummate their relationship. Also, Smith was having sex with numerous other women at the time, so his libido was being satisfied.

As for FAIR's argument that the reports of Smith's sexual relationship with Fanny Alger were "third-hand," I suppose the FAIR author didn't read the incident Compton detailed where Smith had loyalists spirit Fanny out of Kirtland so she wouldn't be able to testify to their affair in a church court. Obviously, if there was nothing improper about their relationship, Smith needn't have done that. But his action indicates consciousness of guilt, and tells us that their relationship was most likely sexual. I also find it amusing that while FAIR relies heavily on Oliver Cowdery's "testimony" about the angel and the golden plates, when it comes to the Smith/Fanny Alger affair, he suddenly becomes an unreliable "third-hand witness." This demonstrates Mopologists' disingenuous double standards in usage of sources.

What amuses me the most about these types of responses from FAIR is their naivete in failing to appreciate the negative impact that their articles will have on the average TBM who stumbles across them on the internet. We all know that the vast majority of TBMs don't even know that Smith was a polygamist, and incorrectly believe that polygamy wasn't begun until after Smith's death, to allegedly provide husbands for women whose first husbands had died in "persecutions" or while making the trek to Utah. And most of the those few TBMs who have heard somewhere that Smith *was* a polygamist believe that his "plural marriages" were merely "spiritual" or "for eternity only"---that he reluctantly entered into polygamy only after being forced to by the angel with drawn sword---and that he didn't actually have sex with any of the women, and only "plural married" them in order to half-heartedly fulfill the commandment.

My point being that while FAIR tries, in their ever-juvenile manner, to defend Smith's behavior, just the fact that they even ADMIT that Smith was a polygamist, and acknowledge some details of those relationships, will make lots of TBMs begin questioning things. To prove my point, just think about how many posters to this BB have written that reading productions from FARMS and FAIR helped to drive them out of the church. So keep up the good work, FARMS and FAIR!
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Carbon 14, Cosmic Rays, And The Spritual Method Trumps The Scientific Method
Thursday, Apr 6, 2006, at 09:06 AM
Original Author(s): Exedmo
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
From FAIR, this was just too good not to share.

(2nd post on the linked page)
http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?showtopic=14519andst=60

In a nutshell, it has been spritually revealed to him that carbon-14 decay is directly related to the amount of cosmic rays reaching the earth's surface. Prior to Noah's flood, there was so much water in the atmosphere that no cosmic rays penetrated. More cosmic rays means less carbon-14 decay, and less carbon-14 decay means the aging of all living things slows accordingly. Soooooo that's why people lived for 900 years back then.

After the flood the water was gone from the atmosphere, and cosmic rays reached the earth's surface, slowing carbon-14 decay.

And as evidence for this cosmic ray / carbon-14 link, he offers:
...I will cite at least one instance since its formulation where scientists were given notice of the flaw in their assumptions regarding radiocarbon dating. It has been observed that materials dating to the period of above-ground nuclear testing in the United States and Russia, when dated using the radiocarbon method, will return a date in the future!

Why, because the considerable augmentation of cosmic rays slowed the rate at which the Carbon-14 decayed, and therefore the method gives the illusion that the tested items originated in the future.


So to all you silly dogmatic followers of the religion known as science, a TBM has now offered proof-positive that the spiritual method is always better than that superstition known as the "scientific method".
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A Trip To FAIR - I Have A Headache And Give Fair A Grade "F"
Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006, at 07:26 AM
Original Author(s): Thinkingoutloud
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Dear Exmos,

I do not venture over to the FAIR boards because it just seems like a rehash of my marriage. My Ex-husband was verbally abusive, dismissive, and did not play fair. He manipulated, misconstrued, misstated, and misinterpreted conversations in order to always win.

He got the final victory – a life without me – I divorced him. When I told him I wanted a divorce – he said – “I can’t believe it. We are so happy. We have such a good relationship.”

Now it was my turn to be completed aghast and perplexed. What on earth did he think a good relationship was? WINNING! Beating me up verbally. Invalidating, insulting, and minimizing everything I said.

Well – that is FAIR in a nutshell. For those who venture over and fight the good fight – good luck. It is not for me.

Yesterday, BTC mentioned a thread over there that he thought I would find interesting – more as a study in apologetics than anything else. So – over I go and after I got over my initial feelings of nausea, I said, “if one of these people turned in a paper in a Master’s level class (actually any class) they would get an F.” They do not state a clear premise, thesis, hypothesis, or question. They do not support their statements. They are riddled with innuendo, hyperbole, unsubstantiated assumptions, and poorly constructed arguments. They do not seem to know the definitions of the words they are using and throw logical fallacy arguments at people as if calling something a “straw man” or “red herring” makes it so.

Their rebuttals are as contrived and disingenuous as anything I have ever read. They are either stupid, have no writing skills, or are like my husband – bullies – that think “It is so, because I say it is so. You are wrong – because I am right.”

If you think about it – that is the approach of Mormonism. The 12 bullies (I mean apostles) take that stance all the time. Your only recourse as a Mormon – is not to debate, criticize, or have any opinion –

IT IS ONLY to pray until you agree.

My husband wishes I had done that – instead I said – no thanks – I am out of here. That is how I feel about the FAIR boards – no thanks – I am out of here. You all bully yourselves.

But – I did think it would be fun (though a complete waste of time – who cares – I love playing on the RFM site) to grade some of the comments. Enjoy.

FROM FAIR

“As usual, to avoid an academic discussion....clearly defined words with extensive explanations are slyly redefined so that more meaningless generalities can be piled on top of that. Now Name Removed to Protect Privacy (NRPP) is safe in resorting to the tried and true countermopolgetic....is NOT! N'uh!

Not impressive. But very nice looking strawman”.

For those interested in what "apostate" really meant in the discussion it was poached from before being stripped of its specific meaning that would give anything Beastie is rambling on about any meaning...go here:

QUOTE: The word "apostate" is not mine and it is a designation that is not limited to religion. It is used by sociologists and describes one set of behaviors that we would designate as "anti-Mormon" ... meaning there is active opposition to the church that distinguishes the "apostate" from the average person who simply does not believe a certain set of teachings but does not devote any time or energy to fighting those teachings or believers. I do not want to get into personal discussions as to which poster is an "apostate" as opposed to a "defector" or "whistleblower". We have plenty of public figures to discuss.

QUOTE: The apostate role is typically not only the most acrimonious of the three types, but in its fullest sense it requires an external, oppositional organization or coalition to embrace the apostate and to lend credence and legitimacy to the typical “captivity narrative” explaining both the erstwhile affiliation and the eventual departure of the apostate.
Armand L. Mauss “ Apostasy and the Management of Spoiled Identity,” The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements, ed. David G. Bromley (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers), 52.

QUOTE (NRPP)
Yet, a good part of the reason this "liberal LDS accept ambiguity, apostates are fundamentalists who can't tolerate ambiguity lose faith and leave" has arisen is due to the fact that prophets, despite their sincerity, despite their years of practice, despite their conforming to the spirit, don't seem to be any better than any other believer at discerning what God is REALLY saying versus what their own culture, (see priesthood ban) or imagination (see Zelph) may be telling them God is saying.

Who has ever claimed this? You are setting up a strawman instead of addressing what has been said. It is a very small and very angry group who leaves the church because of their inability to accept that prophets may not be infallible, scripture can't give objective TRUTH and the church may not always be perfect. Most people simply leave and move on to what seems to them to be a more fulfilling existence than the church offers. They do not spend their days chasing down Mormons to fight with. It is disingenuous in the extreme to pretend that anyone has ever claimed the phony proposition that you are substituting for what has been observed by many people for many years.

Fundamentalists are classified by certain characteristics. The angry exmos who swarm websites, man the anti-Mormon ministries and generally devote a portion of their lives to arguing with people who are different than they are share most of those characteristics. These people define themselves by who they are not. Now notice I did not say "people who leave the church". Isn't it time you dropped that ploy?

Fundamentism is:
1. Reactionary.
2. Militant.
3. Demands inerrancy and infallibility in religion.
4. Literal-minded or intolerant philosophy with pretense of being the sole source of objective truth. (notice that LDS who do not toe the line with the fundamentalist exmo's expectations are accused of not being a real Mormon.)
5. Discomfort with "ambiguity, process, tentative conclusions, and ideological conflict" thus they seek out hard science where " truth is a matter of true and precise propositions that, when properly classified and organized, will work."
(Beastie's lament is a prime example of this discomfort and search for the proper classification and organization.)
(citations are provided in link given above)


MY FEEDBACK AND GRADE

First – you don’t seem to know what the Straw Man logical fallacy is. Here is a definition for you:
"A straw man (or straw dog) argument is a rhetorical technique based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw-man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. A straw-man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it is in fact misleading, since the argument actually presented by the opponent has not been refuted."

In fact, what you are doing – is a great example of the straw man fallacy.

Next, you attack the poster for redefining words and then state the definition you are using. The first word was “apostate.” The problem is that your definition is derived from a text (which you reference) but is in fact not the common definition of the word. Without everyone having read the text and agreeing to this new and expanded definition – it is inappropriate to think that you can base your comments on this definition. You really need to stick to definitions that are common and easily looked up. I included three to show you that it is pretty clear what the accepted definition is.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
one who commits apostasy
Main Entry: apos•ta•sy
1 : renunciation of a religious faith
2 : abandonment of a previous loyalty : DEFECTION

Cambridge Dictionary
apostasy
the act of giving up your religious or political beliefs and leaving a religion or a political party:
In those days apostasy was punishable by death.

a person who has given up their religion or left a political party

American Heritage
apostate

One who has abandoned one's religious faith, a political party, one's principles, or a cause.
fundamentalist

In using your extended definition and in ridiculing the poster – you are engaging in unfair debate. It is in fact you who is changing the meaning of words in order to obscure you argument. You really don’t offer an argument – just sarcasm and taunting. Also – you changed the word "Apostate" – from merely abandonment of one’s faith – to one who:

is in active opposition,
requires an external, oppositional organization,
acrimonious

Though sociologists also include that an apostate tends to be critical of the previous faith – you are suggesting an aggressive attack mode. I don’t think you show that the poster is aggressively attacking or is acrimonious. If fact – you are the only one who really seems to be attacking and acrimonious.

I don’t think criticism is a bad thing – I am not sure why you think it is so damning.

The next word: fundamentalism

Merriam-Webster
1 a often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching b : the beliefs of this movement c : adherence to such beliefs
2 : a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles

Cambridge Definition
the belief in old and traditional forms of religion, or the belief that what is written in a holy book, such as the Christian Bible, is completely true:

American Heritage
the belief that the traditional principles of a religion should be maintained, and that what is taught in a holy book should be obeyed

You have really done some crazy things with this word – rendering any discussion pointless. You use it to shut your opponent up – and to make any point of discussion perplexing and confusing.

As far as the definition you have:

Reactionary, Militant, Demands inerrancy and infallibility in religion, Literal-minded or intolerant philosophy with pretense of being the sole source of objective truth, Discomfort with "ambiguity, process, tentative conclusions, and ideological conflict" thus they seek out hard science where " truth is a matter of true and precise propositions that, when properly classified and organized, will work."

Where I think you really go wrong on this definition is: thus they seek out hard science where " truth is a matter of true and precise propositions that, when properly classified and organized, will work."

That actually is a direct contridiction to the definition of fundamentalism.

Also – your point is confusing. Are you saying that hard science is always true and precise? I am a research manager working with basic scientists and there are many propositions that we work with – what the scientist attempts to do is find consistent evidence that is measurable and repeatable (precise?) to confirm that proposition. Are you saying that is a bad thing? Are you saying that to desire concrete answers and evidence precludes one from also understanding and dealing with ambiguity?

Are you stating that people must either be comfortable with ambiguity or comfortable with “true and precise propositions that, when properly classified and organized, will work?"

I don’t think you are making you case at all – you are once again being dismissive, misinterpreting, and confounding the discussion. Why are you doing that? Why don’t you think through you argument more?

You state: (NRPP is a prime example of this discomfort and search for the proper classification and organization.)

First – I do not see in NRPP’s statements what you are suggesting. You need to support your accusations. Saying it does not make it so.

Also, once again – you have not convinced me that this is a bad thing or mutually exclusive to understanding and being comfortable with ambiguity.

I am giving you a score of 0. an F! You do not state your case, think that you can say anything, use any definition, any logical fallacy – and that is enough. Just say someone used a straw man argument – and WOW – you seem to think that discredits the poster and that you have no responsibility to go beyond that.

Your use of definitions is manipulative and quite frankly – comes across as belittling and with the intent to deride and embarrass your opponent – again with no real effort on your part to offer sound, logical, and well thought out ideas.

Based on your argument style I think I can offer a set of rules for future apologists:

1) Simply respond to any argument – "That is a straw man, that is a red herring, or another good one - ad hominem argument". You do not need to actually address the content of the information or counter the argument – just make fun of it.
2) Use words differently from common usage – then when you are misunderstood – ridicule the poster or post and offer some expanded meaning you got from some book – as though – gosh everyone knows that!
3) Reach ridiculous conclusions – but try to make it sound like – "well, of course!" – for example – if someone says that they questions if a man is a prophet because that man had sex with other men’s wives – or taught blood atonement, say:

"You can not accept that a prophet can be human and make mistakes therefore you can not accept ambiguity. You, therefore, are a fundamentalist that can only deal with facts and figures that are proven scientifically and can not deal with ambiguity. The problem is not that a man that claimed to be a prophet committed egregious sins – it is that you can not deal with ambiguity".

OK – my report on FAIR is over and I am back to talking to the RFMers. FAIR is crazy. For those who like to go over there and play – may the force be with you.
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Juliann: "My Vote Is To Shut The Board Down." Stunning Developments At FAIR
Monday, May 22, 2006, at 07:23 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Yep, you heard right, "juliann," the Grande Dame whiner of FAIR, and one of the most condescending and nasty of all apologists (possibly even exceeding DCP), has called for the shutdown of FAIR:

http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?s...

She also appears to be whimpering and crying about all the "abuse" she has to put up with. Boo hoo hoo! Poor juliann, who leads Dunamis, Dexios, and Archon around by their snouts! Let's remember that this is the same Juliann who never hesitates to brag about how she is a student at Claremont Graduate School, and thus, one supposes, has some sort of superior knowledge on all religion-related subjects. Never mind that a few moments of searching the CGU website and related sites reveal that Juliann appears to have accomplished *NOTHING WHATSOEVER* of note, at least not outside the cozy confines of FAIR and FARMS. In fact, if you look carefully, you can find a set of notes, written by juliann, which are riddled with beaucoup typos and errors! LOL!!! Way to represent the LDS community at Claremont, juliann!!

Also noteworthy, Brent Metcalfe, the great researcher of Mormonism, aka "exegete," has essentially been shooed off of FAIR. The details are here:

http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?s...

He, along with "Rollo Tomasi," has become the second recent casualty of the recent purge at FAIR. Who's next? Kevin Graham?

Finally, after a lengthy hiatus, Daniel "Doughnut Boy" Peterson has returned. One suspects that Peterson's absence had something to do with his embarrassing slip-up regarding the smear campaign mounted against Michael Quinn by Quinn's Stake President, among other people. What's especially funny is that DCP is still lying about this whole episode, and the conversational topics that led up to it:

http://www.fairboards.org/index.php?s...

Funny, isn't it, that DCP says, regarding the recent conference at Yale:

"We did not, however, exercise prior restraint upon any of the speakers, and had no ultimate control over what they finally chose to say. When they stood up to speak, they were completely free agents."

Oh, really, DCP? Then why did BYU threaten to put the kibbosh on the whole thing if Mike Quinn was allowed to present? Instead, he was relegated to the relatively minor role of introducting somebody, just because you, juliann, and the other apologetic wankers have an axe to grind. Good grief, doughnut boy!!

Lots of fun these days! How did I miss all this drama? ;)
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Allen Wyatt's "Practical Joke"
Thursday, Aug 17, 2006, at 06:44 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
In looking over some old threads on the ironically named FAIRboard, I came across this classic. As many will remember, Grant Palmer suffered a backlash, and ecclesiastical punishment after the publication of his book, and was subsequently embraced by people critical of the church. The story goes that folks on RfM rallied around him, decided to set up a charitible website, called "savegrantpalmer.org," but they were beaten to the punch by... Allen Wyatt of FAIR. What ensued is one of the great classics in FAIR history. It will be deleted at the two year mark this December, however, I for one would like to see the best excerpts from it live on. Enjoy!

(Note: the thread was opened by a poster named "Sarah," whose original title, "savegrantpalmer.org purchased by FAIR," was altered--without permission, evidently---by Dunamis.)

Here are some of the juciest posts:

Calmoriah wrote:
Thanks for the info.

NH, I'm voting for the "Outrageous sense of humour?" knowing Allen if he is the dastardly culprit.

Or it could be a "Really Outrageous sense of humour" and be someone who purchased it on behalf of Allen to get the poor man in trouble with those dogooders that stand for Truth, Justice and the American Way over on RFM. (I did that by mistake one time, paying for a .com, instead of a .org...sigh, couldn't get anyone to respond to me and then when they finally did, lost the bill that was proof that I had paid for it and couldn't get reimbursed).
Note the sense, in the first sentence of the 2nd paragraph, where Cal thinks this could "get the poor man [i.e., Allen Wyatt] in trouble." This will be important later.

A couple of other posters chime in:

Blink wrote:
Perhaps whoever purchased the name wanted to present it to Mr Palmer all wrapped up in tissue paper and tied with a bow, with a tag that reads: "Have a Merry ExChristmas"?

The world may be ready for Mr Palmer's ideas. The church is not.
jetpilot wrote:
Don't mean to swing the conversation to far to the serious side....but.....I had no Idea the Church is going after Brother Palmer. Does anyone have any insider information???? Is it because of his book? If it is because of his book then what about the book is false???
Finally, we get a response from the Big Cheese himself:

Allen Wyatt wrote:
I see that my domain purchases over the past 36 hours have somehow become a topic worthy of discussion. I find that quite amusing.

To set the record straight...

I saw that someone was planning to create a Web site on a topic that I know something about, to do it using a "take" that I disagree with, by means that I think are ill-conceived. So, I purchased the domains. I did nothing illegal, unethical, or immoral. Domain name availability and registration is purely capitalistic, on a first-come, first-served basis. I used the system without any abuse or coercion on my part.

I did not purchase the domains with the intent of somehow stopping or censoring those wishing to somehow support Grant Palmer by attempting to insert themselves into what should be a purely ecclessiastical matter. They can still rally support or publish information in any manner they wish--they just can't do it with domain names that I purchased.

FAIR did not purchase the domain names. I did. I did not use FAIR funds, and I did not consult with FAIR personnel before making the purchase. It was my decision, and my decision alone. My actions do not indicate FAIR complicity or approval in the matter any more than Brother Palmer's writings indicate complicity or approval of the Church by virtue of his previous employment.

I know that this will do nothing to calm those who see villany and dastardly intent from anyone who supports the Church, but for those who think I somehow did something mean, dirty, or underhanded I can say only one thing: Get a life! Purchasing those domains provided the best entertainment value (dollar for dollar) that I've had in a long time. It took me all of four and a half minutes, and provided hours of chuckles.

I now return you to your regular world of contemplating the perceived unfairness of the universe (and the Church's ultimate responsibility for that unfairness), while I slither away to plot my next nefarious deed.
Especially interesting is his rather sadistic remark, at the bottom of the next-to-last paragraph, that Palmer's suffering and disciplining caused him (i.e., Wyatt and his pals) "hours of chuckles." Am I wrong to think that Bro. Wyatt's behavior in this instance was awfully petty?

The thread goes on:

Mighty Curelom wrote:
This is amazing. You people are so stuck in defense mode that you can't even acknowledge when one of your own does something inappropriate. Does ANYONE here have the integrity to admit Allen did something wrong?
mimesis wrote:
Allen is a very savvy marketer who knows how to move quickly on an opportunity. I'm guessing that he will point the website to a "best of Grant Palmer" page on FAIR. People who are gaming to support Grant (or "save" him for that matter) will have to look at the other side of the equation. (As if supporter of Palmer hadn't see "the other side of the equation" to begin with.)
jetpilot wrote:
FAIR

Isn't that the name of this organization???? I guess dissent doesn't get a fair shake around here.
The next post really got to Mr. Wyatt:

juxtaposed wrote:
Wow...

That's in poor taste.

It is a mean and under-handed approach, a sucker punch, dirty tactics, and well, a great deal of other things. It may not be illegal, but it sure is unethical and immoral.

Going out of your way to prevent the spread of ideas and information (yes, even if you believe the information wrong or false) is just deplorable in my mind.

Ugh...
Here's Wyatt's response:

Allen Wyatt wrote:
QUOTE: Juxtaposed said: Going out of your way to prevent the spread of ideas and information (yes, even if you believe the information wrong or false) is just deplorable in my mind.

Can't read too well, can you? Let me quote from my first message:

QUOTE: I did not purchase the domains with the intent of somehow stopping or censoring those wishing to somehow support Grant Palmer by attempting to insert themselves into what should be a purely ecclessiastical matter. They can still rally support or publish information in any manner they wish--they just can't do it with domain names that I purchased.

You see, I told you what my intent was, and you either missed it, ignored it, or don't believe it. In response you say that my intent was to "prevent the spread of ideas and information." Balderdash. (Does Juxtaposed know my intent better than I do myself? Hmmm...)

But, I wonder if Juxtaposed would apply his/her same indignance to those who try to prevent the spread of the LDS gospel. Does Juxtaposed find it just as deplorable that there are those who "go out of their way" to create vitriolic Web sites, or picket temple open houses, or use bullhorns outside General Conference, or promote picketing a stake center during disciplinary councils? Somehow I doubt it.

I purchase Web domains, and I'm the meanie who should be strung up. Someone wants to interfere with a private organization (the Church) exercising an inquiry into the membership status of an individual (Grant Palmer), and people try to tattoo "Disseminator of Truth" on the person's bicep.

It truly is an amazing world we live in.
My thoughts:
  1. Where does he say what his intent was? Does he mean the part about what he views as a "purely ecclesiastical matter"? (And if so, why did he get involved, on the Internet?)
  2. In all too typical apologist fashion, he turns the battle into a David v. Goliath, overblown mess, with the church as the poor, oppressed minority, and Grant Palmer and his supporters as the unstoppable "anti" juggernaut.
  3. By his own words, he is using a wrong to justify a wrong.
No thread would be complete without Pahoran coming in, frothing at the mouth and crying like the big baby that he is:

Pahoran wrote:
Then there was the little anti-Mormon "ministry" (a codeword for a business that targets a religious market and would like to be tax-exempt) a few years ago that purchased the domain names "fair-lds.com" and "shields-research.com" in deliberate imitation of the legitimate .org variations of those names, and set up their own propaganda sites at those domains.

Strangely enough, I never heard even one anti-Mormon protesting about that.

I wonder why?

Regards, Pahoran
A pretty good assessment here:

rabane wrote:
I'm really a bit surprised here, and disappoipnted in you. You may think it was funny, but what you actually did was to legally prevent various persons from expressing themselves using a doman name that they took the trouble to come up with. yes, yes, I know you had every right, etc etc etc., but what you did goes beyond what is permissable or legal. It was just in relly bad taste, and sorry, was exactly the kind of thing anti-Mormons would expect a cultist to do. You really made a bad move here. And despite your cries of innocence when it comes to not wanting to censor people, the fact is that you did just that. You did allow people, albeit legally, to express thmeselves where they wanted to do so–i.e., at doman names supportgrantpalmer.com and savegrantpalmer.com. These, of course, would have been perfect for people seeking to voice their opinions on the matter (good similarity of purpose/intent, search engine ease, etc etc etc). There is no reason at all for you, an obvious non-supporter ofPalmer, to snatch up these domains in a deliberate attempt to simply steal them away from those who wanted them. You threw a wrench into the wheels of internet workings and you know it. Really, it was not very cool AT ALL. Legal, yes, but cool, no.

It would be like me reading a thread on this board wherein some LDS were responding to a hot topic about an apostle, and they said, "Hey, let's really help out the church and Apostle Jeffrey Smith, and get a website up top support him. We'll call it 'supportLDSabostleSmith.com' and also get one called 'saveapostlesmith.net' and then, I went out and grabbed up those two domains so they could not use them.

Really, Allen. So, totally uncool
Bro. Wyatt, really feeling the heat at this point, responds this way (and note the language he uses):

Allen Wyatt wrote:
Richard,

Nice to hear from you. Glad to see that your cool-o-meter is in fine form. I'll tell you what; if it stays in working order, join me outside the next General Conference. You can then tell your fellow Christians how they belong to a cult and aren't very cool as they wave around LDS undergarments and call passing women sluts and whores. (Yes, I've heard it. Been there, done that. If you come, I'll even introduce you to them, most by name.) See if it has any effect on their "Christian" behavior. You can discuss with them the finer points of Calvinism (which they abhor) and they can tell you why any translation of the Bible except the KJV is of the devil.

If you don't want to talk with them, you might consider discussing religion with the gentleman from Dayton, Ohio, who says that his God is bigger than the LDS God, and even has a Web site to "prove" it. (He even got on the FAIR Apologetics list once, under false pretenses.)

Or how about the ones who dress up as LDS missionaries to hand out their anti-Mormon tracts? Or the ones who hand out tracts designed to look just like tourist brochures? The list could go on and on, and I'm sure they would all love to hear how cool you think they are.

Of course, if you'd rather not talk to those folks at conference (some of them are, honestly, a little scary), you can always talk to some of the folks at RFM who boasted about following missionaries around and knocking on doors right after they were there, to tell them the "truth" about the LDS Church. Or the RFMers who really did track down Scott's house and go knock on his door and scare the bejeebers out of his wife. They're cool, too, I'm sure. (Of course, even if you tried to tell them they weren't cool, RFM would probably pull down your post within 5 minutes of posting it anyway; better stick to conference. )

I didn't censor anyone, regardless of how you want to characterize it. In fact, Hellmut already has his Website up elsewhere. He's now ready to interfere in something that is none of his business.

Tell me, Richard. If the pastor of your church was counseling with a congregation member concerning their "unchristian behavior" -- behavior which may get them kicked out of the congregation -- would you look kindly on ex-congregation members trying to stick their noses in where they don't belong and disrupt the counseling? Would that be "cool?"
Mighty Curelom, in all his wisdom, sees right through this tactic:

Mighty Curelom wrote:
So, because a few overzealous fundamentalist Christians show up at conference, that justifies your inappropriate behavior?

"But they do mean things too!"

That's quite a defense you got there.
Every thread needs a little DCP, too, who's swooping in here to provide a bit of damage control:

Daniel Peterson wrote:
I'm afraid that I can't see what all the righteous ventilating is about. Allen Wyatt's action seems to me something of a prank, nothing more. Nobody's rights have been violated, nobody has been harmed, nobody's wallet has been emptied (except, apparently, Allen's), nobody has been silenced, nobody has been wronged. Those who hope to create a media circus around l'affaire Palmer will still be able to launch their campaign to that end, without even a slight delay, having been subjected only to the very, very marginal inconvenience of coming up with an alternative domain name.

Big deal.

Since the offense, if it exists at all, is so very microscopic, I suspect that other motivations are at work here. And, knowing something of the attitudes of those doing the ventilating, I don't find it too very taxing to guess what those other and more fundamental motivations are.

It's just the same old same old.

Zzzzzzzzzzz.
Apparently he doesn't want to acknoweldge the "tit for tat", or, as juliann would say, "neener neener" motivations obvious in his buddy Allen's behavior.

This poster offers up some insight:

VEL wrote:
So let me see if I've go this straight Allen, you heard others come up with a domain name so you buy it first. You didn't think of the name yourself you just disagreed with what you thought was going to be posted there. And then you claim justification because a buch of idiots yell at people at conference?

You really don't see anything unethical about this at all?? You did steal someone else's idea. I would feel the same way if someone stole your idea. If someone heard you discussing a new name for a site about apologetics and then ran out and registered it before you could I would consider that just as unethical.

QUOTE (Daniel Peterson) nobody has been wronged

The person that thoght of the domain name has been wronged. Allen took an idea that wasn't his.
In effect, Allen Wyatt has committed a kind of intellectual theft.

Here's more DCP:

Daniel Peterson wrote:
I'll go further. Personally, I don't even have enough integrity to recognize "unethical behavior" in what Allen Wyatt did. To me, it's just a prank. And, moreover, a harmless prank.

I can understand being irritated by it, if you're the victim and rather solemnly humor impaired, but I can't see much reason for moral outrage. The whole issue is pretty silly, or so it seems to me.

But then, I've been involved in lots and lots of practical jokes in my life, and, now that I think about it, many if not most of them have involved unethical behavior. I must simply be devoid of conscience. I've lied to people in connection with surprise parties. I've disguised my identity by using masks. I've set people up for pranks by means of half-truths. I've written satirical pieces that were not literally and strictly true. I've exaggerated things in jokes. I've done all of those things. And unrepentantly, too.

Sigh. Human depravity is a bottomless pit.

I confess, though, Curelom, that the moral basis on which you, an atheist, condemn Allen Wyatt's action is opaque to me. What does it rest upon? And what if Allen doesn't share it? What if I reject it? On what basis would you disagree? What if I think that lying is just fine? Who are you to tell me it's not? And why should I listen to you?

Speaking of "bottomless pits," attempting to derive ought-statements from is-statements strikes me as a direct path into the abyss.
(bold emphasis mine, since DCP apparently is unable to see his gossiping as "pretty silly.")

Some further twists in the drama, involving our very own beloved Dr. Shades:

Allen Wyatt wrote:
(*sigh* Why do I bother?)

QUOTE Dr. Shades said: The new "official" SaveGrantPalmer.com website is finally online.

Someone should note that this is the second such site. The original site, located here, had too much of a Christian slant. (See the RFM discussion here.) Obviously that doesn't fit within the RFM predominant worldview, so Deconstructor apparently "borrowed" the site design from Hellmut (the original site's sponsor) and created one more to the secular tastes of the RFM crowd.

I have no knowledge whether the plagiarism on the part of Deconstructor and the RFM crowd was done with the knowledge and permission of Hellmut. The truth squad, which insists on the full disclosure of such things, apparently doesn't exist within the ranks of RFM. (Note to self: Legally registering domains is not OK; plagiarizing someone else's design is. Got it.)

The cavalier "borrowing" is admitted in this RFM message, but really--all one has to do is compare the two sites. Perhaps you can enlighten us, Dr. Shades--would Deconstructor be considered a chapel plagiarist or an Internet plagiarist?

QUOTE Dr. Shades said: It includes discussion of Allen Wyatt's tasteless actions.

I note that the site doesn't mention that I called Hellmut on the phone today and offered to give him the domains. (He turned me down, but thanked me for the offer. It was a pleasant conversation, which according to the mischaracterizations here should not have been possible with the tasteless Allen Wyatt.)

QUOTE Dr. Shades said: Also, no one has answered the question why, when www.fair-lds.com and www.shields-research.com were bought up and turned into anti-Mormon websites, everyone here screamed bloody murder...

Perhaps it's because you haven't provided documentation to back up your assertion. Assuming I am part of "everyone," I can tell you that I never batted an eye about it. It happens; we move on.

QUOTE Dr. Shades said: ...but when Wyatt goes out and takes SaveGrantPalmer.com, SaveGrantPalmer.org, SupportGrantPalmer.com, and SupportGrantPalmer.org, nearly everyone (save a few courageous souls) thinks it's a neat joke.

Thank goodness for the courageous among us. (Note to self: Expand the definition of courageous to include those with a humor-impairment syndrome. Show picture of Dr. Shades beside definition.)

QUOTE Dr. Shades said: Heck, at least the anti-Mormon guy left you the *.org halves, which Wyatt didn't do.

He didn't leave us with them; we got that part first. The other guy came along later.

QUOTE Dr. Shades said: Why the egregious double-standard?

Sorry; next time I'll try to use double standards that are a bit less egregious. From your vast experience, do you have any suggestions of ones that you've found particularly useful?

QUOTE Dr. Shades said: Also, does Mr. Wyatt monitor the discussions at RFM on his own, or does he have spies who do it for him?

Hmmm... Wyatt was "monitoring," but the others were "discussing." In an open forum. I see. Oh, wait! I remember... I tried several times to move from "monitoring" to "discussing," and the moderators deleted my posts within three minutes, thereby letting me know that they were happy with my "monitoring" status. As long as the moderators at RFM are happy, so am I. (If you prefer me to not monitor, I suggest you talk with them. I would be happy to discuss, instead.)

QUOTE Dr. Shades said: (I have a hard time believing he just dropped in, completely randomly, at *precisely* the right time like that.)

You are full of all sorts of assumptions, aren't you? You really should not believe everything you read at Deconstructor's pro-Palmer site. Hellmut wrote to Richard Packham what he was going to do. Richard Packham posted it on a public mailing list; it didn't appear at RFM first. I got the digest for the mailing list, and that's when I learned about Hellmut's tasteless plans. (Sorry; just wanted to use adjectives that you find acceptable.)

It was an announcement of Hellmut's intent, not a discussion, as Deconstructor parsed it. On his plagiarized Web site Deconstructor says it was during an "open online discussion of the possibility of setting up websites savegrantpalmer and supportgrantpalmer" that I did my nefarious deed. He lied. As far as I know, he's not even on Richard Packham's exmormon mailing list; if he is, he has been as silent as I have, because he hasn't posted there in the two years I've been on the list.)

-Allen
And a terrific question from another poster:

Lara Croft wrote:
Why did you offer to give the domains to Hellmut? Did you feel guilty, and wanted to make a wrong, right?
What do you suppose is Allen's reply? Hmmm....

Allen Wyatt wrote:
Nope. Didn't feel guilty in the least. As I've said all along--and which the conspiracy-minded mean-Mormon-seeing crowd ignores--my intent was not to censor Hellmut. I just didn't (and don't) agree with what he is doing. I "tweaked" him; I put speed bumps in his path, if you prefer that analogy.

I still think what he is doing is wrong, and I told him so during our conversation. As I see it, he is attempting to interfere in a private ecclessiastical matter. But, now that his info is out in different areas, and the secular crowd at RFM has unceremoniously grabbed his site design from him, the "speed bumps" have lost their effectiveness, so I offered them to him.

Plain and simple.

(By the way--I offered them to Hellmut. I would not offer them to anyone else but him. Don't any of you RFMers get any ideas. )

-Allen
Here's DCP hedging, and playing semantic games:

DCP wrote:
QUOTE (Dr. Shades @ Dec 6 2004, 08:15 PM) Also, no one has answered the question why, when www.fair-lds.com and www.shields-research.com were bought up and turned into anti-Mormon websites, everyone here screamed bloody murder, but when Wyatt goes out and takes SaveGrantPalmer.com, SaveGrantPalmer.org, SupportGrantPalmer.com, and SupportGrantPalmer.org, nearly everyone (save a few courageous souls) thinks it's a neat joke.

I think it's one thing, merely a prank, to buy a domain name out from under somebody else, and it's quite another to set up a deceptive web site under a name that is designed to trick people into accessing it who would not freely choose to do so and who would be offended or irritated by its content.

I have not found this sort of thing funny, or merely a prank, since the time, many years ago, when I was looking for a ward to attend in a city away from home, and found, in the telephone book, an entry for The Church of Jesus Christ of Ex-Latter-day Saints, which, if dialed, connected the uncareful and unsuspecting caller to a vitriolic recorded denunciation of Mormons as deceivers and non-Christian cultists.

There is no double standard on my part. If a Latter-day Saint were to set up a web site designed to lure Roman Catholics or Buddhists in for a walloping, or put a telephone number in the directory under an entry for the United Churrch of Christ, connected to an anti-Protestant recording, I would without hesitation denounce it as inappropriate and unethical.

I continue to regard the wailing on this thread as silly. Nothing wrong has been done. Nobody has been injured. It's no big deal.
The thread winds down with this unsubstantiated claim made by DCP:
Quote: I think it's one thing, merely a prank, to buy a domain name out from under somebody else, and it's quite another to set up a deceptive web site under a name that is designed to trick people into accessing it who would not freely choose to do so and who would be offended or irritated by its content.

I have not found this sort of thing funny, or merely a prank, since the time, many years ago, when I was looking for a ward to attend in a city away from home, and found, in the telephone book, an entry for The Church of Jesus Christ of Ex-Latter-day Saints, which, if dialed, connected the uncareful and unsuspecting caller to a vitriolic recorded denunciation of Mormons as deceivers and non-Christian cultists.
When challenged, DCP flew into a sanctimonious rage:

DCP wrote:
QUOTE (Belgian Trippel @ Dec 6 2004, 11:17 PM) I doubt that the story that you tell is true, and if it is, please substantiate it.

What were you doing calling a The Church of Jesus Christ of Ex-Latter-day Saints listing, anyways? Duh, like that going to be the LDS Church. Red flags? Anyone?

The story is true. San Marino, California. Summer, 1979 or 1980, I think, during a visit back to the States from studies in Egypt.

How on earth do you want me to "substantiate" it? Do you steal other people's phone directories and hoard them for a quarter-century? Well, even if you do, I don't.

The listing for The Church of Jesus Christ of Ex-Latter-day Saints had, manifestly, been set up by an anti-Mormon organization (if I recall correctly, it was "Ex-Mormons for Jesus") in order to place their number among other listings for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I noticed the extra syllable and called anyway, out of curiosity. But it would scarcely be surprising if hasty phone-book users often failed to notice that little change, and called inadvertently. That was clearly the expectation of the group that had obtained the listing, since they manifestly weren't really a church at all.

I left a comment along those lines on their recording machine, which led to a correspondence with one of their leaders, a certain Janell McGregor. That was my first substantial contact with evangelical anti-Mormons, and it led to several things that I've done subsequently. (Thank you, Janell!)

If you still believe that I'm lying, I invite you to prove your accusation. Or at least to supply some plausible reason for your charge, apart from a general hostility toward Mormonism and Mormons.
And the final remark? To Dr. Shades, naturally!

Dr. Shades wrote:
QUOTE (Blink @ Dec 7 2004, 04:16 PM) Can a person not make a statement about something they've observed in their personal life, without having to provide documentation and witnesses?

That's a good question.
All in all, a terrific thread. Very revealing, imo.
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Julian And The Problem With "Apostates"
Monday, Oct 16, 2006, at 06:45 AM
Original Author(s): Beastie
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Julian from FAIR writes about Ex-Mormons:
An anti-Mormon (or technical term "apostate") has no compelling story without the required elements. There has to be the element of him being deceived so that the apostate can establish that he was not responsible for his active participation. Otherwise, he is not a hero...he is a rather pathetic traitor. Because of this...the revelation (or conversion) has to build to a crescendo of blinding realization...a sudden moment where they "know" to protect them from culpability by making them look enlightened and bold instead of the dupes their story actually sets them up to be. Everything has to be calculated to explain why they participated so willingly for so long in what they now claim is something close to evil (or whatever pejorative is in vogue).

Unlike typical leave takers whose responses range from indifference to quiet disenchantment, the apostate assumes a vituperative or hostile posture and pursues a moral campaign to discredit the group.

Daniel Carson Johnson, “Apostates Who Never Were: The Social Construction of Absque Facto Apostate Narratives,” in The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements, ed. David G. Bromley (Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers, 1998), 109.
There are two things to remember when Juliann gets into her favorite topic of "the problem with apostates". (btw, she and I duked it out over her misuse of her experts months ago before I left the board, and she demonstrated the same problems)

One, is that she often chooses to cite experts who are either mormon, or who are members of other groups that the larger society views as subversive (her favorite source is a well known defender of a group in Italy that is generally viewed as a cult over there, can't remember the name at the moment, however). I think it is an open question regarding whether or not these people have their own agenda, which is to somehow discredit the apostate for simply being an apostate.

Second, is that Juliann either has very poor reading comprehension, or she deliberately distorts her sources. She and I had a long argument over a trivial detail embedded within a much more important larger point (ie, I mentioned that human sacrifice was in inherent part of the Mesoamerican ballgame, but my larger point was wondering why we couldn't glean meaningful information about ancient Mesoamerica by reading the BoM when preachers of the "one true" religion often warn their followers of specific acts the larger culture is engaging in at that time, ie, human sacrifice associated with ballgames). Anyway, she picked a quote from a book that she interpreted meant that there is no evidence human sacrifice was associated with ballgames in ancient Mesoamerica. I provided source after source demonstrating she was wrong, but I finally realized that her core problem was that she had completely misread her own source, which said there is no evidence that the WINNERS were sacrificed (iow, the losers were). It literally took me pages to get her to understand how she had so basically misunderstood her own source, and she still pretended I didn't know what I was talking about.

Juliann is one of the most frustrating people I've ever had internet discussions with for these reasons. In the end it is rarely worth it. I have concluded she is very sensitive regarding her intellect, and despises the fact that exmormons often seem to believe that mormons are continuing to believe stupid, or discredited, ideas. So her number one agenda seems to be to find a way to discredit what exmormons say without having to actually deal with the substance of their comments, and she does that with her sociological approach - to her, all her experts are basically saying you can ignore what apostates say because they are lying, whether or not they know they are lying. (they are rewriting history to justify their treason)

I would advise not to put a lot of time into your discussions with her. You'll kick yourself later for wasting your time so extravagantly - I know I did every time I engaged her. If I ever went back to fAIR, which I wouldn't/won't, I would immediately use the new "ignore" function for Juliann.

BTW, edit on, I now remember what she so misunderstood about our disagreement regarding defector/apostate. Her source specifically stated that the defector accepted the MORAL responsibility for the failure of the relationship between believer and church. Obviously, this cannot describe any person who leaves because they no longer believe the church is "true". By her own source, it included people who just could not live up to their covenants, and accepted that as their fault, not the fault of the organization (like a nun who decides she cannot live a celibate life and leaves the nunnery, but accepts the fault as her own failure). She mocked me for fixating on the part explaining the MORAL responsibility as if that were irrelevant. This is due to the fact that she believes the only good exmormon is a SILENT exmormon, but couldn't quite bring herself to state that the simple act of disbelief, in and of itself, was a gross sin. Instead the sin is that we choose to DISCUSS our disbelief, instead of going quietlyinto the night, like she imagines her sister has.

What I find funny about all this, is that I guarantee that every SILENT exmormon I know - ie, they aren't interested in discussing it on the internet or in real life - actually are in agreement with my general opinion about the mormon church. They just don't say the words out loud where mormons might read them. They're not interested enough to do so - it's not that their beliefs, feelings, or attitudes are generally POSITIVE to the church just because they are silent, if that makes sense.
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FAIR Contradicts FAIR
Thursday, Apr 12, 2007, at 09:22 AM
Original Author(s): Urineandthumbin
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
I was reading the FAIR explanations (no, I don't have a valid reason for doing so) and I noticed a contradiction that made me chuckle.

In an article defending the church position on Matthew 22:23-30 (about no marriage in heaven) http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Brochures... says, "We believe in continuing revelation....we do not have to show where in the Bible we get this doctrine"

In another article about the "Father" having a sexual union with the Virgin Mary http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Brochures... they say, "The place members should always look for official church doctrines is in the canonized scriptures of the church."

So, they want it both ways. Ignore the scriptures and listen to the church leader's continuing revelation OR ignore the continuing revelation of the church leaders and listen to the scriptures.

Thing is, genuine "continuing revelation" would never conflict past continuing revelation. FAIR is a den of liars and vipers.
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FAIR: A Prophet Doesn't Speak For God
Monday, Dec 31, 2007, at 08:16 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
The apologists over on FAIR have decided that the Prophet of the Mormon Corporation is no longer a spokesman for God.
Since the current LDS prophets sometimes contradict the former ones, how do you decide which one is correct? Most "contradictions" are actually misunderstandings or misrepresentations of LDS doctrine and teachings by critics. The LDS standard for doctrine is the scriptures, and united statements of the First Presidency and the Twelve.
Misunderstandings? Misrepresentations? Can you show us dear apologists how when Brigham Young spouted off racist doctrine, he was misunderstood? Or he was misrepresented by critics of the Cult? When he created the Adam God Doctrine - was he just misunderstood?

On August 17, 1951, the First Presidency issued the following "Official Statement":
"The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the pre-mortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality, and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the principle itself indicates that the coming to this earth and taking on mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintained their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes....."
I don't misunderstand that at all. I see no misrepresentation at all.

FAIR goes on:

[quote]The Saints believe they must be led by revelation, adapted to the circumstances in which they now find themselves. No member is expected to follow prophetic advice "just because the prophet said so." Each member is to receive his or her own revelatory witness from the Holy Ghost. We cannot be led astray in matters of importance if we always appeal to God for His direction. [/quote]

So FAIR now contradicts Mormon Doctrine And Covenants Section 1:38:
"What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be bfulfilled..."

"... whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."
So according to cannozied Mormon Scriptures, every member is expected to follow the prophetic advice, regardless of what the prophet says.

Interesting that FAIR contradicts itself on the very same page.

Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Don't Go Astray
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
Follow the Prophet
He'll Lead the Way

"When the Prophet has spoken, the thinking has been done."

FAIR needs to stop telling the Mormons to not follow the prophet. They are contradicting cannonized scripture and leading the Mormons into apostacy.
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FAIR Now Has A Youtube Channel
Friday, Feb 29, 2008, at 08:04 AM
Original Author(s): Shoehorn
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
It's called YouFib...

http://www.youtube.com/user/fairldsor...

They aren't talking about those dog-sized horses again are they?

My biggest fear is that they will obtain fossils and plant them and pretend to "discover" them. Then they will carbon date them and pass them off as valid.

I'm concerned also that these peoples' titles are shown but not their places of education or employment. Could they be ashamed to show the general public that they are all from BYU or LDS approved places? Where is the Smithsonian Institute? Where is Harvard or National Geographic?

The comments here are backed up with absolutely no details. This kind of talk is like what you could expect to overhear at a bar about someone's afternoon at the fishing hole. SPECIFICS PLEASE!!!!!!!

And why is this Peterson guy so paranoid about other scientists "trying to hide" scientific evidence. Scientists have no interest in hiding the truth whether or not what they find is what they allegedly wanted to find-it is against all they believe in. If the evidence actually proved the BOM true, not even an atheist scientist would try to hide it-this paranoid conspiracy gibberish is ridiculous and an insult to the integrity of bona fide scientists.

I like that blurb about "accusations about LDS beliefs". Of course when they disparage the Bible and say it is obsolete and mistranslated, they don't refer that as "accusations against mainstream Christian belief".
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Allen Wyatt Finally Comes Clean About The "Savegrantpalmer.com" Debacle
Friday, Jun 6, 2008, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Dr. Shades
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Some of you may remember the "savegrantpalmer.com" affair from a number of years back. If not, here's a rundown:

When it became known that Grant Palmer, author of "An Insider's View of Mormon Origins," had been scheduled for a "court of love," many people here decided to create a website showing their support for him.

Several people made suggestions for potential domain names for this soon-to-be-created website. When a domain name was decided upon (savegrantpalmer.com) and one of them went to register it, lo and behold, Allen Wyatt, one of the chief bigwigs at FAIR, had already registered it and several of its variants.

Yes, he had been monitoring the conversation here and had snatched it up.

After a firestorm of criticism, he maintained that it was merely a "prank" and there was nothing wrong with what he had done.

Now, fast-forward to today: Over at http://www.timesandseasons.or... , in comment #38, Allen says the following:
"I registered some domain names that were going to be used by those critical of the Stake President, in support of Grant Palmer.

Two days later, I offered those domain names to the supporter/critic-in-question, free of charge. I offered them to him via e-mail and in a personal phone call. He declined my offer. In any accounts of the 'incident,' I have yet to see a full account–only how mean and vile I am because I tried to place speedbumps in the path of those criticizing the church."
So it's nice to see him finally admit that his little stunt wasn't a mere "prank;" that he was indeed "try[ing] to place speedbumps in the path of those criticizing the church."
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Reality - Challenged MAD Mopologists . . . Includes Shirts' DOA / BOA Stuff
Friday, Mar 13, 2009, at 08:31 AM
Original Author(s): Sl Cabbie
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Well, I see even ex-Elder Benson quoted some of the apologists' posts in this latest uproar over Big Love showing the temple endowments . . .

I don't share the need to purge myself much of any Temple Trauma (while recognizing that it is probably a legitimate disorder; glad I ducked that one), so I looked elsewhere on MAandD for some other nuggets of absurdity (I do have issues with some of the Mormon teachers I had in junior high and the nonsense they force fed me--with grades being the rubber hose they used--which perhaps explains my wanting to maintain a stranglehold on truthful stuff). There's one right now that some exmo's will likely find in their "lovebomb boxes" sooner or later about "Elephants in the BOM"; I think this one should be named "Thus Puked Zakuska."

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?showtopic=41862andst=0

(Copy-and-paste protocols, etc., etc.)

So we've got some gomphothere (similar to mastodon) fossils found in Mexico . . . The article notes they date to the end of the Pleistocene era (which ended 10,000 years ago). Our Zakkie, though, finds a Wiki quote that insists they survived until roughly 400 A.D.

Zakuska:
Why is it amazing? Because these "elephan"t [sic] bones which date to 400 AD where found along side Horse remains! This is Central America Folks! Just North of the proposed LGT.
Gee, you mean there were zoologists operating in America in 400 A.D? Were they Mayan or Aztec? Naw, lemme guess, they were Nephite . . .

Since the term "Mormonites" is archaic and has been shortened to "Mormons," I propose we use it as a label for Mormon "scholars" who infest the pages of Wiki and shamelessly contaminate legitimate stuff with faith-promoting fantasies (Whaddya say, Seagull Choker?).

Anyway, here's a link that indicates these critters--the gomphotheres, not the mormonites--became extinct around 10,000 B.C.E.

http://www.amnh.org/science/biodivers...
Gomphotheres are [Ed: "were"?] related to primitive elephantids, and share many features with them. Their grinding teeth, for example, had many more cusps and more complicated wear patterns than those of mastodons. Cuvieronius, the last genus of New World gomphotheres to become extinct, was widely distributed in North, Central, and South America. In feeding habits it was presumably a browser. In South America, this taxon survived until about 11,000 radiocarbon years before present; they apparently became extinct somewhat earlier in North America.
Those of you with Wiki-editing privileges might want to pull the tusks on this one . . .

Okay, onto Shirts, our "hack/ward perfesser" who's touting his own YouTube stuff (you guys watching those, make sure you have your you-know-whats fastened down extra tight, okay?):

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?showtopic=41850

e=mc2: (That's Shirts, BTW)
Here is a paper I wrote a few years back that I never published. I include . . . the many problems the Reverend Spaulding had in 1912, and the critics again had in the 1960's.
Sevenbak:
I find this part of Facsimile #2 very intriguing! Look at Fig. 7. as per JS: "Represents God sitting upon his throne, revealing through the heavens the grand Key-words of the Priesthood;"

Now look at the figure siting in #7, (I've reversed it, since it's upside down in the original) Look how both his hands are positioned, and the geometric symbol above his squared arm. Things that make you go hmmmmm...
Here's a link to a copy of Facsimile #2 . . .

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/abr/fac_2

In the lower right of the circular montage is the relevant diagram, between Horus, the Falcon God, and Hathor, the Cow Goddess . . . The figure is an inverted stylized individual who appears to be seated on a bench of some sort . . .

And, migosh, here's a voice of reason . . .

Mortal Man
For the millionth time, that thing sticking out his front is not his hand.
Oh my, Holmes! Whatever is it? Shall we call this "The Case of the Missing Whanger"?

Sevenback:
It's a little too high for that. I know they removed it in the '78 version, thinking it might be a phallic thing, but it's back and it's too high for anything like that. Even higher is some of the other versions I've seen of that figure.
The church remove something from its sacred scriptures? Really?

And this next guy says he's the only one entitled to make Polish jokes . . .

mfbukowski:
It's only not his hand if it is Egyptian. But it is not. We know what the Egyptian is- it is a hypocepalus. But this is the Book of Abraham not a hypocephalus! It only LOOKS like an hypocephalus, but has a whole different meaning. It has been "translated" remember? That is the key here. If you see it as a hypocephalus, you are wrong. It's like saying the cross is only a phallic symbol (which anciently it was).
Ah, are we being schooled in what is truly "Reformed Egyptian"? Gotta do some Googling . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypoceph...

Oh, a hypocephalus is a small disk-shaped object generally made of stuccoed linen . . . Yup, there's a picture of one from the British Museum; sure looks like the one linked above, but we're talking about that little item in the seated figure's lap . . . Let's blow up the Wiki picture . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hyd...

Sorry, Sevenbak, that one doesn't look at all high to me . . . My considered opinion is it's definitely a whanger... aka "woody," aka "turgid phallus" for the sheltered sorts out there . . .

And Boyhowdy, that picture and Facsimile #2 sure look alike to me . . .

One more, please. There's another BOA thread . . .

http://www.mormonapologetics.org/index.php?showtopic=41813andst=0

One poster, "LDS1973" ran afoul of the MAandD mods, and his post was deleted with the following scolding:
Deleted. If you're here for personal attacks, find another board. = mods
So what was it that was deleted? I dug the following out of a Google "cache" (offered as a disclaimer since I don't troll MAandD but merely cruise by in the ol' police interceptor and peer through the windows occasionally):

LDS1973:
OMG! You are all nuts! Sorry, but the BoA is a FRAUD. Its amazing how deeply one will reach into the recesses of the mind to pull out an answer that rationalizes their faith! Just find me ONE peer reviewed article published in a scholarly journal by a real Egyptologist (LDS need not apply) who supports JS' interpretation!

I have no problem with your faith or beliefs, but here we are talking about actual printed material with JS own interpretation written for all the world to see so please, I'm beggin you to show me that you are not just breathing your own fumes on this one!
Sorry the cops caught you, '73, but I gotta hand it to you; that "breathing your own fumes" line is a keeper . . .

Alas, at MAandD, even the truth isn't a defense against charges of slander . . .
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FAIR Admits They Are Not Teaching LDS Official Doctrine
Sunday, Apr 5, 2009, at 08:26 AM
Original Author(s): T-Bone
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
http://en.fairmormon.org/Fallibility_of_prophets#Standard_of_doctrine_in_the_Church
Harold B. Lee was equally explicit: If anyone, regardless of his position in the Church, were to advance a doctrine that is not substantiated by the standard Church works, meaning the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, you may know that his statement is merely his private opinion.
In other words, the explanations that FAIR provides are simply their own opinion. And they are therefore not to be trusted.
The only one authorized to bring forth any new doctrine is the President of the Church, who, when he does, will declare it as revelation from God, and it will be so accepted by the Council of the Twelve and sustained by the body of the Church. And if any man speak a doctrine which contradicts what is in the standard Church works, you may know by that same token that it is false and you are not bound to accept it as truth.
In other words, when they make leaps in logic and come up with lengthy explanations of why they still want to believe their church is "true" they cannot be taken as the official word on what their church teaches. They are only stating their opinion. And, as they admit, when a man speaks his own opinion he is not to be trusted.

That settles it for me.
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Obfuscation Is Good For Testimonies When It Comes To FAIR
Thursday, Jul 16, 2009, at 08:53 AM
Original Author(s): T-Bone
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
As long as it muddies the waters enough, mainstream Mormons who only have a few questions will get confused enough and leave it alone.

The typical form for an apologists essay is, not to mention the thousands of words they use to do it, the following:

*Sigh* We've been over this a million times.

Go off on a tangent about something remotely related.

Sum it all up by saying that the question was made up by bitter anti-Mormons to try and destroy testimonies.

State that anybody who comes to a different conclusion obviously misunderstands the question, or tell the reader that God does not want us to know right now, so we'll just have to wait until his ficklenes decides we're worthy of telling. (But since asking questions is bad, you're not worthy right now.)

There, there, now. *pats member on the head* It'll be OK. Go to church this Sunday. Pray for forgiveness (you are being disobedient and wicked for asking), and pay your tithing. We'll beat up the monsters for you. Just forget it even came up.

I could never live with myself writing that kind of tripe.

It's just a way of keeping members from knowing the truth about Mormonism. Every ruling class wants to keep the common people in the dark, keeping them confused about where the root of their problems really lies (duh - they are being exploited!) and keep them coming back.

The funny thing is, the ruling class in Mormonism is not even engaging in obfuscation. They pay others to do it, and they use church money (i.e. tithing) to do it.

In other words, if you are a member you are paying somebody else to withhold valuable information from you. What a racket!
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American Bison And The Book Of Mormon
Friday, Aug 7, 2009, at 08:03 AM
Original Author(s): Michaelm
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
An attack on Rod Meldrum is seen at:

http://www.fairlds.org/DNA_Evidence_for_Book_of_Mormon_Geography/DEBMG07S.html

The article contends that the American Indian prevented the bison from spreading to the east, and that the spread occurred only after disease destroyed the human populations.

Such an assertion is disgraceful to the American Indian and disregards historical facts.

A very thorough and exhaustive report was published in 1877:

History of the American Bison, by Joel Asaph Allen, Extracted from the ninth annual report of the survey, for the year 1875, Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey, F.V. Hayden, U.S. Geologist-in-Charge, Washington, Government Printing Office, June, 1877.

The bottom line is that the American Indian had spread the bison to the east, through their own efforts, prior to any European arrival. Habitat change was made by burning, to extend the prairie. Also the culture associated with the buffalo was spread from the west. Interesting studies of the diffusion of catlinite (pipestone from the Minnesota quarry) demonstrate cultural influences long before European contact.

Rod Meldrum and FAIR both attempt to twist reality into the BoM fantasy, and in their efforts, an entire history of a people is distorted.

The bottom line is that the Book of Mormon is a work of fiction. When FAIR attempts to discredit Rod Meldrum, they end up also perpetuating more lies.

See also:

http://www.bluecorncomics.com/stype6a...

http://www.bluecorncomics.com/prager....
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Chairman Of Fair Blasts MormonThink And StayLDS
Monday, Aug 10, 2009, at 07:53 AM
Original Author(s): Spongebob Squaregarments
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Check out the gems from the bigwig at FAIR's latest talk.

http://www.lifeongoldplates.com/2009/...

My favorite part of course:

"When you try to find help, use trustworthy resources. There are wolves in sheeps clothing. 2 specifically.

1. MormonThink.com. Presents itself as open environment to discuss gospel from open perspective where the truth is discovered. I will tell you right now there is an agenda behind that website. They would like to make the line more fuzzy, to raise doubts.

2. StayLDS.com. This is run by John Dehlin, a sincere individual who wants to help. I think he is off the mark. They say we want you to stay LDS even though you don't believe. Why would you want to do that? Why have someone remain complacent in a state of doubt?"
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Apologizing For Mormon Apologists
Wednesday, Aug 19, 2009, at 08:21 AM
Original Author(s): Cr@ig P@xton
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
This past week, the apologetic arm of the Mormon Church, (FAIR) Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, met at its annual conference to present its latest apologetic arguments to defend the Mormon Church. The highlights, (I use that term lightly), of the conference were published by Deseret News in the most recent “Church News”.

http://www.ldschurchnews.com/articles/57738/The-Book-of-Abraham-The-larger-issue.html

I feel bad for FAIR, having to defend an institution that hobbles its defenders with one uncompromisable premise. That no matter what the facts, no matter what the reality, no matter what the circumstances…there can be only one answer to all difficult questions... The Mormon Church is true.

In other words, Mormon apologists must start with the answer fixed and immovable and work backwards from that premise BEFORE the question is even asked. They cannot use standard methods usually utilized in truth discovery, such as rigorous examination, questioning, testing and scrutiny to come to a conclusion. No, they must begin all arguments with their conclusion first (that the church, no matter the argument, no matter how absurd the logic used, no matter how painful the mental gymnastics applied ... IS TRUE). The Church requires one uncompromisable rule, start with the desired conclusion (the church is true) and work backwards.

The problem with starting any search for truth using the straight jacket approach employed by Mormon apologists is that it requires them to come up with all kinds of bizarre, unbelievable explanations to defend beliefs that if subjected to any other standard method of examination would simply come to the conclusion that the belief is false…or simply put, Mormonism is not what it claims to be. Take for example the apologetic augments John Gee used at the recent FAIR conference to apologize for the Book of Abraham.

“While critics of the Church often challenge the authenticity of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, they attach more importance to it than Church members do themselves” – John Gee, 2009 FAIR Conference

REALLY???? Critics attach more importance to it then Church members?????? WTF???

Sorry John, you’re selling, but I’m not buying. The bogus Book of Abraham is one of four “canonized” books of Mormon scripture. Last time I checked…it wasn’t the critic’s that canonized the Book of Abraham…it was the members of the Mormon Church. The mere fact that the church has made the decision to distant itself from the controversy surrounding the authenticity of the Book of Abraham, by attaching less importance to it…IS the direct cause of Mormon critic’s who have shined the bright light of truth on the bogus Book of Abraham…and it is that truth that has caused the Mormon Church to diminish the importance of the Book of Abraham out of necessity in the hope that by doing so the fraud will not be discovered by the general church membership.

But hey John….knowing that you are bailing water from a ship that is taking on water faster than you can bail…you then turn to your standard uncompromisable premise. "The book of Abraham is true," said Brother Gee, author of A Guide to the Joseph Smith Papyri, at the end of his presentation. "I think it can be defended. I think it should be defended. But it's not the be-all-and-end-all of either apologetics or research or the scriptures."

There it is…you didn’t disappoint us…the Book of Abraham is true…a total dismissal of reality and its true despite not being what it claims to be….a translation of the writings of Abraham, by his own hand. BUT WAIT do I detect a sign of doubt??? You "THINK" it can be defended? Are you not sure it can be defended…are you growing tired of the fight in defending the undefendable?

But knowing that the Book of Abraham is beyond salvaging…and knowing that the Book of Abraham IS one of the many pieces of the Jig Saw that confirms that Joseph Smith was a complete fraud and charlatan…you then pivot your augment.

You say, "We cannot afford to lose sight of the big picture,"

And what, do tell is that Big Picture? Oh yeah…the answer to the question that was given before the question was even asked…that the church is true no matter what. So are we done yet? Oh no…we’re only beginning… Never one to fail…you then offer this gem.

"Now where is the Book of Abraham in this?" he asked. "It isn't. The Book of Abraham is not central to the restored gospel of Christ."

REALLY??? Can the Book of Abraham be a complete and utter fraud and Mormonism still be all it claims to be??? I DON’T THINK SO…

But rather than explore this gapping question you simply choose to continue:

"First, the arguments about the Book of Abraham have become so complex that even the best and brightest of critics end up arguing unwittingly in favor of the LDS position.”The Document of Breathings made by Isis is not the Book of Abraham, and most Latter-day Saints have never claimed it was," he said. "Can we agree on that issue and move on?

I understand why Mormon apologists want to move on from this embarrassingly impossible to win argument…and of course latter day saints haven’t claimed that the Breathings of Isis were the source of the Book of Abraham for to do so would be to admit defeat…so can we agree on THAT issue and move on? Yeah sure, just as soon as Mormon apologetics admit that the Book of Abraham is a fraud…your getting close to doing so…but come on just come clean and admit it.

"Second, the critics do not deal with the issues arising from the Book of Abraham that Latter-day Saints care about. In that sense, their approach is legerdemain and bait-and-switch".

Are you suggesting that the Mormon faithful don’t really care if the Book of Abraham is what it claims to be? Umm I rather doubt that…

"Third, how the Book of Abraham was translated is unimportant. The Church does not stand or fall on the Book of Abraham".

Of Course, YOU would say that Joseph’s translation process is unimportant…lol…because a real translation confirms that Joseph’s version was completely bogus. This is why Mormon apologist have had to come up with the bizarre notion that Joseph merely used the papyri to “channel” God’s revelation…because the Book of Abraham is nowhere close to a translation of the Egyptian characters found on the papyri. But clearly the record shows that Joseph wanted his associated to think he could translate…(to perpetrate his fraud) why else would he go to such lengths to write long verses from single Egyptian characters that we now know were not even close to what Joseph said they were.

"And fourth, regardless of how the Book of Abraham was translated, it is a remarkable document that tells us more about Abraham's day than Joseph Smith could have known." There you go again dismissing the translation process…lol…But I do agree with you that it is a remarkable document that makes some of the most bizarre claims in all of Mormondom. i.e., Kolob, loaning its light to our own sun which is just…totally false and just plain bizarre. Or the claim that one day in Kolob is equal to a thousand years according to the measurement of this earth, which is called by the Egyptians Jah-oh-eh….LOL it’s just plain silly gibberish Joseph made up because he thought others would think this was Egyptian talk. So YES it is a remarkable document…ah if one is truly interested in seeking truth rather than defending a fraud.

In defense of John Gee and FAIR, I have sympathy for them; they are bailing water from a ship that is taking on water faster than they can remove it. They have allowed their collective brains to be bent in so many loops and knots that they can no longer think critically. And with the availability of the internet…information is now accessible that had long been held from church membership.

FAIR is at a great disadvantage because it is literally crippled by the agenda restrains placed on it by the Mormon church…and if one of the members of FAIR were to dare come to a conclusion contrary to the “authorized pre-conceived answer”…they would quickly be excommunicated, cast off and dismissed (like we are) as wicked, pathetic, misguided tools of the mythical Satan.
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Were You Taught That The American Indian Were Book Of Mormon People?
Thursday, Sep 17, 2009, at 07:46 AM
Original Author(s): Michaelm
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
A FAIR link says it is a tradition which has persisted with the LDS but is not necessarily correct. (see the second to the last paragraph of "a covenant people")

http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2003 _Children_of_Lehi_DNA_and_the_Book_of_Mormon.html

This link is one example of the apologetic nonsense that became the beginnings of my exit.

Some of the questions that screamed out to me at the above link were: what about Spencer W. Kimball's patriarchal blessing of helping the Lamanites? What about his work with the Navajo? What about my own wife's patriarchal blessing lineage? What about Joseph Smith's writings concerning the Indian Removal Act of 1830 being part of the gathering of Israel? I could go on and on.

How do these apologetics live with their own delusions? The BoM is a work of fiction. There is no consideration for the harm to living people who believed what is now called "a tradition" by the apologetics.
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Mormon Church Begins Copyright Spree
Monday, Sep 28, 2009, at 07:55 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
From FAIR:
I want to talk briefly about something else that the church did that is not perhaps as widely known but I believe it to be one of the most significant things regarding our past that the church has done in its history. There was a new copyright law that went into effect on January the 1st, 2003. In order to undermine the efforts of people who did not own the church documents, who had unrestricted publication prerogatives to some of the things that we believe are very important and to which we had rights, we decided to publish many of our documents in a way that we could create a copyright for them that would serve our purposes for a generation or so. And so, a very ambitious project was undertaken to produce Selected Collections from the Archives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Conferences/2009_The_Reliability_of_Mormon_History.html
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Mormon Apologetics
Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009, at 08:05 AM
Original Author(s): Drw
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Time spent on MADB is much like time spent among fully institutionalized mental patients or with day patients on a psyche ward.

The folks one finds on this particular ward (MADB) are all self-committed. The TBM's among them have not yet come to recognize that they are still delusional. They think they are there to help others.

It is interesting for a while just because the conversations and many of the views and opinions expressed are so bizarre.

However, as with institutionalized patients, one needs to fight the urge to jump in and help the delusional among them.

You can see that there are already folks there (called critics) who are trying to help (people like John Larson, for example). What you may not see is that, to large measure, these kind people are wasting their time.

In some cases I think that the "critics" might be there just to see the reaction of the TBM's when they make a factual statement counter to popular TBM belief (sort of like teasing little children to see their reaction).

If you decide to register and try to interact with and help these poor self-committed souls, you will not be appreciated.

If you point out their delusions by citing facts, they will soon grow tired of the cog-dis and find a reason simply kick you off the ward.

Facts that run counter to their delusions are ignored or countered with scripture or irrelevant examples.
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FAIR Address Concerns Of The Jewish Nation
Tuesday, Oct 27, 2009, at 09:31 AM
Original Author(s): Gadianton
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
FAIR has a new post up on their blog by Steve Danderson taking on Jewish aversion to baptisms for the dead. Ya'll ought to check it out. As one might expect coming from FAIR, they take on one of the most politically sensitive issues for the Church with international visibility and leave it to their least experienced statesmen to handle. If FAIR had to worry about a large non-LDS readership, I'd encourage them to take it down. Since FAIR is however, directed toward budding junior-tier Mopologists, I'm sure the article sastisfies FAIR's objectives just fine.

Painfully, the first mistake of the article happens before the very first sentence. So here you have FAIR out to address concerns of the Jewish nation regarding issues relating to the Holocaust, and the article is principally filed under the category of "Anti-Mormonism".

Strike One!

Then, after promptly filing away the Jewish nation (and Catholic Church) as the latest group anti-Mormon naysayers, Danderson reveals the depth at which FAIR diliberates over these difficult issues,

Danderson wrote:
From the links above, I gather that Jewish groups believe that our baptising for the dead is a backdoor way of erasing the Jewishness of Holocaust victims
So, here's a couple links on the web, I kinda read them and I think this is what they're saying and I think it's really dumb because...

Strike two!

Ardith Parshall gets credit for the observation though,

Ardith wrote:
It might be enlightening for you to speak quietly and off the record with two or three Jews who could explain to you why their peculiar history makes them sensitive to all this."
Yes, I agree. At minimum, before giving the thumbs down to the Jewish nation, speak with two or three Jews about the matter first, make sure before you begin firing rounds of jr. tier Mopologia on this one that you really do know what you're talking about.

Danderson wrote:
Fortunately, baptism for the dead does NOT make them non-Jews, nor does this force them to deny their Jewishness. To the contrary, we believe that personal agency is sacrosanct [See DandC 101:78; Moses 4:3; 7:32]. Indeed, since we Latter-day Saints claim to be Israelites,
Indeed, if the concern here is erasing Jewish identity, there is no better way to address that fear than to announce that this odd little splinter group from the Protestant Christian movement a couple hundred years back constitutes the true blood of Israel. It might help to put those baptisms in some context, explain how Mormon doctrine was given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the Torah leaves this out due to evil scribes who perverted the scriptures, removing the plain and precious Christian/Mormon truths. Explain how the Children if Israel apostasized over and over again from Gospel teahings leaving them with the lesser Law of Moses. Explain how you Mormons are of the Royal House of Epharaim, the superior tribe of Israel, and that if they are lucky, they, along with the other minor tribes can be restored back to Mormonism and have their scriptures and culture properly integrated with Mormonsism as the true Christianity.

Strike three!

Danderson wrote:
As for the [Insert favourite epithet here.] that led Nazi Germany, as Wilford Woodruff put it about other persons who allowed the attempted genocide of another people, the Church will do their baptisms when "their cause is just." That, I suspect, will come LONG after the Cubs win the World Series-in a four-game sweep. ;) (winky smiley face)
How many times has Hitler's work been done? But wow, you have to appreciate the way this guy knows how to speak to the Jewish nation or an international audience on a sensitive topic. Yeah, the Cubs are gonna win the world series before that happens! Har Har Har! Go CUBS!

Danderson wrote:
Clearly, Jews are not dealing with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who wants to wipe Israel-and Jews-off the map, and denies that the Holocaust even happened. Rather, the LDS wish to remember the Jews as worthy people of the Most High, and not as vermin to be exterminated!
Christ almighty, what a way to put it..

Danderson wrote:
Leaving all this aside, let us suppose, for a moment, that we're wrong in our authority claims. What effect would our baptising a Jew, a Catholic, or any other dead person in any religion-or no religion at all?
Again, assuming that everyone around the globe like him grew up watching baseball, having FHE, and gobbling down fry sauce-drenched pototatoe stuffs, it will not occur to him that by and large, the rest of the world has no concept or belief in the uniquely Mormon culture that surrounds the "authority claim". Why should the Jews consider the pros and cons of baptism for the dead based on Steve Danderson's imagined pet criteria? shouldn't he address their concerns, not what he thinks their concerns should be?

I do like this one though, given all the fuss Mormons have made over the sacrilege of doing "apostate" ordinances with no authority. Yes Steve, if you're doing baptisms with no authority, God is really not happy about that, he takes apostasy seriously. How many times have Mormons complained about infant baptism -- hey, what does it hurt huh?
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FAIR Evidence That Moroni Could Have Walked From Mexico To New York
Monday, Jul 19, 2010, at 08:52 AM
Original Author(s): Michaelm
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
http://www.fairlds.org/FAIR_Brochures...

Page 2:

"That such a trip is not as far-fetched as some might suppose, we know of an account of a shipwrecked sailor who walked for eleven months from Tampico, Mexico to Maine - nearly the same route and distance as Moroni would have had to travel."

Mr. Ash is referring to the journey of David Ingram, which is not accepted as credible by reputable historians.

http://books.google.com/books?id=OVRH...
"The Relation of David Ingram (1582), whose sailor's yarn of a nine-month march in 1568 and 1569 from Mexico to Maine through a paradise dotted with crystal cities could be considered the first tall tale in the American tradition of exaggeration."
See also:

http://www.badarchaeology.net/controv...

See the homepage of Bad Archaeology:

http://www.badarchaeology.net/index.p...

The first paragraph mentions distorted views of the past that pass for knowledge in popular culture.

Writers who defend the BofM could have stayed with the true account of the journey of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, but that was not from Mexico to New York, nor did it describe elephants as Ingram claimed.

The FAIR article in the first link is just one example of ill-reputed writings being used to provide evidence for the Book of Mormon.

http://www.badarchaeology.net/controv...
"Igram reported seeing elephants, red sheep, peguins and golden pillars on his walk, none of which are known to have existed in sixteenth-century North America. However, the word penguin was seized upon as a Welsh word (pen gwyn, ‘white head’ - unfortunately, penguins have black heads and are not found in North America); Ingram claimed that he had heard other Welsh words during his travels."
The penguin idea is confusing today because it was based on an American bird that is now extinct and relatively unknown.

http://www.communigate.co.uk/ne/pengu...
"The first bird to be given the name “penguin” was the flightless Great Auk that roamed the Northern Oceans."

"The name is of 16th Century origin and there are many suggestions for its derivation. It had a white patch between its beak and eye and one suggestion is from the welsh pen (head) plus gwyn (white). Another is pen wing , from the meaning pen as partial or almost and wing meaning not a full wing. A third possibility is from the latin pinguis (fish) and a fourth is from an island in Newfoundland known as White Head due to a large white rock."
Ingram's claim of the penguin being used as evidence of a Welsh word is really nothing more than the very word given to the Great Auk by English sailors before Ingram's writings.

Its not a question of walking across America, the problem is using the writings of Ingram when more credible historical information is available.

The words at FAIR are: "That such a trip is not as far-fetched as some might suppose, we know of an account of a shipwrecked sailor who walked for eleven months from Tampico, Mexico to Maine – nearly the same route and distance as Moroni would have had to travel."

The account of Ingram was not credible. Reference to it is an example of using distorted views of the past and passing it off as knowledge in popular (Mormon) culture.

Its kind of like saying that such as trip is not far-fetched because a far-fetched writing is known about.

Long distances can and have been walked. FAIR can drop the writings of Ingram already.

Why would FAIR mention a source filled with lies in order to provide evidence to the truth of the BofM?

An overview of Ingram's account can be read here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=tVRI...

Page 221: "The reward of lying being not to be believed in truths"

The Relation of David Ingram:

http://books.google.com/books?id=k34F...

page 202 iron swords

page 205 horses

page 206 elephants

Iron, horses and elephants? What a great source of lies to support the lies of the BofM.

A much more truthful account of the first Europeans into what is today the United States:

The Journey of Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca

http://books.google.com/books?id=3R0O...
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Never Give Apologies When Apologetics Will Do
Thursday, Aug 12, 2010, at 10:55 AM
Original Author(s): Iconoclast
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Once again Mormon faithful were summoned to an apologetic conference in Salt Lake City last week to have their testimonies bolstered by the so-called scholars, academics, and intellectuals from the FAIR apologetics organization. The Foundation for Apologetic Research and Information being the amateur, unofficial (and unaffiliated with the LDS church they are quick to add) apologetic arm of the faith. Staffed by volunteers who see it as their job providing possible, sometimes plausible, but rarely probable explanations for the nettlesome historical questions raised by critics of the LDS faith.

The conference agenda reveals that there is considerable intellectual cross-pollination from the quasi-official Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship formerly known as the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies or FARMS. These guys are the professional arm of Mormon apologetics.

Ostensibly hired and paid as supposed professors at the Church's flagship BYU university, the Church is able to funnel tithe-payer money through the school to support this Ministry of Sophistry and Propaganda. Thus allowing a number of them to conduct faith promoting research in support and defense of the Church while posting tens of thousands of responses to doubters and critics on various blogs and discussions on internet bulletin boards

I have some affinity for the FARMS organization. Partly because I was a dues paying member for the more than 6 years that it took me to learn from them that there were indeed serious historical problems with the Church's truth claims. And secondly, as a farmer/rancher, I appreciate the metaphorically and improbably appropriate name of FAIR-FARMS for an outfit whose job it is to tend the sheep.

As a high school educated, and sometimes manure-truck-driving farm boy, some might consider it pretentious on my part to challenge the scholarship of these individuals. However, I would argue that I actually have quite a bit in common with LDS apologists. Like them, I am an expert at taking a load of BS and spreading it where it will do the most good. Me to fertilize diminished soils and them to fertilize diminished minds.

From my considered experience I also find it curious that a bunch of sheep, at least the barnyard variety, would allow themselves to be herded into a pen for two days and sit still to have a load dumped directly on them. Let alone be willing to pay 60 bucks a head for the indignity.

Disaffection with the Church's truth claims might be likened to death by a thousand paper cuts because there are so many historical problems as well as the legal, moral, and ethical problems of early leaders. The apologetic crew gets credit for a valiant, even if vain attempt to address them all. Of all the problems raised by critics the most damning are the ones that most members are unaware of and the Church has at best been unwilling to acknowledge and at worst, willfully obfuscating.

It is telling that the Church sends out an army of more than 25,000 young missionaries each year, none of whom are capable of addressing these issues. This is in spite of indoctrination that goes back to age 3 with 9 years of Primary, 6 years of Sunday School, 6 years of Young Mens/Womens, 4 years of seminary, and 2 to 8 weeks of intense mission preparation at the Mission Training Center.

They are embarrassingly ill prepared to face a public who is no longer uninformed about Mormon history in the information age. Worse yet, they are trained to dodge these issues by: "only answering the question they should have asked" or; "never give them meat when milk will do" or; by offering the missionary trump card "I know the Church is true, the spirit witnessed this to me". The critics, as would any reasonable outside observer, consider this as 'lying by omission' and have coined the phrase 'Lying for the Lord'.

The same reasonable outside observer would find apologetic arguments failing in a number of areas that relate directly to the claims of the Church:
  • DNA, as it applies to Native American populations
  • The Book of Abraham translation, and its relation to the source material
  • The Book of Mormon translation, from a rock in a hat while the plates were absent
  • Polygamy, Joseph Smith's affairs starting with Fanny Alger, the subsequent revelation to cover it up and invention of scriptural sanction.
  • The First Vision, the founding truth claim of seeing God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ did not exist until after the Church was formed.
To get an idea of how they deal with such problems I would direct you to FAIR's own web site and "Mormon Apologetics and Discussion Board". Here, under the heading "Joseph's apparent contradiction" you will see for yourself just how they deal with the First Vision problem.

A post by 'Tango' on the first page brings to the discussion a challenge from a internet poster named Baura (an ExMormon) who, for a number of years has offered a $2000 reward to anyone who can provide contemporary, primary source evidence that…
"Joseph Smith CLAIMED to have been visited as a teenager by God the Father and Jesus Christ as separate personages, and told by them all the churches were corrupt"….BEFORE 1835.
Maybe some lucky reader might be able to do better than Mormonism's best and brightest and pocket the $2,000 reward for his or her self. Maybe not, but you'll come to understand the old cowboy saying that "You just can't polish a turd". No matter how much tithe payers' money you spend.

The apologists provide a valuable service to the Church having been given license to dismiss any previous prophetic utterances as the simple minded and uneducated ignorance of 'speaking as a man'. They provide the leaders cover of plausible deniability. They provide all the answers to the big questions now, allowing the leaders to tend to the money-generating corporate interests such as mall building, development, farms, ranches, hunting preserves, in addition to civil rights issues.

They are now free to perform their duties as 'Profit-teers and Prevaricators'

The Church would be better served if it would quit wasting tithe-payer funds for apologetics and instead just apologized for its past behavior.
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One Little Issue With (un)FAIR's Website
Friday, Aug 13, 2010, at 08:29 AM
Original Author(s): Silhouette
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
I did some reading on their site reguarding the Greek Psalter incident. However I noticed something... According to most accounts, there is no way that JS could have made up the BOM and BOA since he was un-educated.

http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp...

"Joseph Smith was quite an uneducated man. He was uneducated when he was a boy. He was brought up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, and he did not have any of the advantages of what we call an education. The Lord took him into His school, and He taught him things that I have seen puzzle many of the wisest scientists, profoundest thinkers, and the most learned men that I have met with in this world. Why? Because he was taught of God."

Well, look at this...

http://en.fairmormon.org/Joseph_Smith...

"On 20 November 1835, Oliver Cowdery returned from New York and brought Joseph a Hebrew and Greek lexicon.[5] On 23 December 1835, Joseph wrote that he was "at home studying the greek Language..."[6] "

So if JS was taught by the lord, then he should have been able to translate Greek by revelation and not by studying. Now I am sure there is a slew of arguements on how the lord probably gave him some gifts and he had to progress on his own, but I call BULLSHIT.

Thanks for playing.
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FAIR: Contradicting The Church Since 1997
Wednesday, Dec 1, 2010, at 09:51 AM
Original Author(s): Darth J
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
On the main page of the FAIR Wiki (http://en.fairmormon.org/Main_Page), we are greeted with FAIR's noble epitaph:

FAIR: Defending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1997

But we must ask ourselves, is FAIR really defending the Church, or are they defending apologetic theories? This is somewhat like asking ourselves if the sky is blue, but let's look more deeply, anyway.

Note: the Mopologist answer about whether the sky is blue would of course be an irrelevant post-modern exposition about what is color, anyway, and how some people are color blind and the sky changes color sometimes and so the sky isn't really blue (the sky will be blue, however, when a given Mopologist theory depends on the sky being blue).

Anyway, let's start with a random example: animal sacrifice. Does the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teach that as part of the "restoration of all things," at some point God will command animal sacrifice to be reinstated?

First, look up "official doctrine" on the FAIR Wiki, and you will be directed here (http://en.fairmormon.org/Official_doc...), where FAIR uses selected statements by church leaders that are not official doctrine to explain what official doctrine is alleged by FAIR to be. This FAIR Wiki article begins, however, with what apologists believe is their ultimate trump card to things they wish church leaders had not taught: the famous Anonymous Press Release about "Approaching Mormon Doctrine." This press release, which FAIR quotes and uses in part to define vicariously for the Church what the Church's teachings are, reads in part:
With divine inspiration, the First Presidency (the prophet and his two counselors) and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (the second-highest governing body of the Church) counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four "standard works" of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith.
You'll soon see why I underlined "official church publications" as a place we find official doctrine.

Now, then: restoring animal sacrifice. According to a FAIR Wiki entry on this issue (http://en.fairmormon.org/Bible/Old_Te...), "Critics claim that Joseph Smith favored 'Old Testament practices' including 'teaching animal sacrifice.'" Apparently, Joseph Fielding Smith was a critic of the Church, since he taught:
Now in the nature of things, the law of sacrifice will have to be restored, or all things which were decreed by the Lord would not be restored. It will be necessary, therefore, for the sons of Levi, who offered the blood sacrifices anciently in Israel, to offer such a sacrifice again to round out and complete this ordinance in this dispensation. Sacrifice by the shedding of blood was instituted in the days of Adam and of necessity will have to be restored.

The sacrifice of animals will be done to complete the restoration when the temple spoken of is built; at the beginning of the millennium, or in the restoration, blood sacrifices will be performed long enough to complete the fulness of the restoration in this dispensation. Afterwards sacrifice will be of some other character.
The FAIR Wiki, however, is summarily dismissive of President Smith's teaching.
Joseph Fielding Smith had a personal opinion about this subject; that animal sacrifice would happen again to fulfill a symbolic role[.]
Hmm. It sure is a blessing that struggling members of the Church can turn to apologists to remove these roadblocks to faith. Let us now turn to an official Church publication concerning the restoration of Old Testament-style animal sacrifice:

Doctrine and Covenants Institute Student Manual

Section 13 - The Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood (http://institute.lds.org/manuals/doct...)
DandC 13:1 . What Is Meant by the Sons of Levi Offering an Offering of Righteousness unto the Lord?

The Prophet Joseph Smith commented as follows on this scripture:

"It is generally supposed that sacrifice was entirely done away when the Great Sacrifice [i.e.,] the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus was offered up, and that there will be no necessity for the ordinance of sacrifice in the future; but those who assert this are certainly not acquainted with the duties, privileges and authority of the Priesthood, or with the Prophets.

"The offering of sacrifice has ever been connected and forms a part of the duties of the Priesthood. It began with the Priesthood, and will be continued until after the coming of Christ, from generation to generation. . . .

"These sacrifices, as well as every ordinance belonging to the Priesthood, will, when the Temple of the Lord shall be built, and the sons of Levi be purified, be fully restored and attended to in all their powers, ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and ever will exist when the powers of the Melchizedek Priesthood are sufficiently manifest; else how can the restitution of all things spoken of by the Holy Prophets be brought to pass. It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be established again with all its rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never been spoken of by the prophets; but those things which existed prior to Moses' day, namely, sacrifice, will be continued." ( Teachings, pp. 172-73.)

President Joseph Fielding Smith further explained that "we are living in the dispensation of the fulness of times into which all things are to be gathered, and all things are to be restored since the beginning. Even this earth is to be restored to the condition which prevailed before Adam's transgression. Now in the nature of things, the law of sacrifice will have to be restored, or all things which were decreed by the Lord would not be restored. It will be necessary, therefore, for the sons of Levi, who offered the blood sacrifices anciently in Israel, to offer such a sacrifice again to round out and complete this ordinance in this dispensation. Sacrifice by the shedding of blood was instituted in the days of Adam and of necessity will have to be restored.

"The sacrifice of animals will be done to complete the restoration when the temple spoken of is built; at the beginning of the millennium, or in the restoration, blood sacrifices will be performed long enough to complete the fulness of the restoration in this dispensation. Afterwards sacrifice will be of some other character." ( Doctrines of Salvation, 3:94.)
Notice that the exact same quote from Joseph Fielding Smith that FAIR dismisses as "personal opinion" is considered to be official doctrine by the Church. So what we are left with is FAIR blithely disregarding the teachings of the Church because they appear to be embarrassing or weird.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 1:16 (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/rom/1)

Unlike Paul, however, FAIR clearly is ashamed of the gospel, or they defend what the Church teaches instead of disregarding official doctrine as "personal opinion."

The above is but one simple example, but it illustrates how Moplogists do not remove roadblocks at all. Instead, they evangelize the bastardized pseudo-Mormonism that they have invented. This is why Mormon apologetics kills faith in the Church. First, it leads the struggling member to wonder why this priestcraft is being used to "defend" the Church instead of inspired answers from the purported prophets, seers and revelators who lead the Church. Second, by contradicting the Church to "defend" it, apologists create cognitive dissonance. The struggling member is invited to believe that the Church is true and simultaneously disregard the Church's teachings in favor of heretical theories that are either pulled out of thin air or contrary to LDS doctrine (or both). As Jesus taught,
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Matthew 6:24 (http://scriptures.lds.org/en/matt/6)
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FAIR Launches Mormon Defense League
Friday, Aug 12, 2011, at 07:03 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
From Chron.com:
The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research has announced it is launching the Mormon Defense League to help journalists "get it right," said Scott Gordon, FAIR's president, who will direct the new project.

If the MDL notices a misstatement or mischaracterization, the group will first contact the journalist, Gordon said. But if a pattern of misrepresentation emerges, the defense league will "go after the writer" by posting the piece or pieces on its website (mdl.org) and pointing out the errors.
http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/l...

I do hope being a "Defense League" they get to wear tights!

Wait, this is opposite of past tactics. Usually it is "go after the writer" first and ignore the truth.

I say fine Gordon. I highly doubt anyone is really going to go find the side mdl.org to make sure a cult isn't a cult.

I guarantee you in their search they'll hit the MC a whole hell of a lot faster than mdl.org.

But you guys go ahead because it makes you feel good. Shield of faith, breastplate of righteousness and all that lovely feelgoodness.

Toodles.
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From My Informant: Oaks "Apoplectic" At FAIR And FARMS
Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011, at 07:15 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
It's been quite a while since I received a "communique" akin to the one that arrived in my InBox this afternoon. Of course, I was delighted to read it, and after a bit of consideration, I do believe that it may very well shed some light on the bizarre behavior we've been observing from the apologists as of late.

According to my informant's "intel," Elder Dallin Oaks is *extremely* angry over several recent events in the apologetics world, and he's now hell-bent on affecting change. Here are a few of the key titbits:
  1. Per my informant, Oaks is attempting to oversee a "systematic “cutting loose” of any perceived links between FAIR and the Church," though it was unclear what this means. My informant speculated that it may involve something like the elimination of hyperlinks that connect sites like FAIR to LDS.org.
  2. One of the things that allegedly infuriated Oaks was Valerie Hudson's recent FAIR talk on polygamy. More on this later.
  3. While Oaks was "still steaming" about the Hudson affair, The Mormon Defense League published its "BY Was a Racist" article, and this was brought to the Senior Apostle's attention, angering him further.
  4. The icing on the cake was the now-familiar hullabaloo surrounding the Bushman/Gold Plates Seminar. According to my informant, Oaks is supposed to have said that the seminar included what he termed "hard core homosexual anti-Mormons."
  5. Because of this--per the 'intel'--Oaks is now "on a rampage" to "do all he can to distance the church as far as possible from FAIR" unless/until they--and this was apparently a transcription of Oaks himself--"cease trying to chart doctrinal courses" for the Church.
  6. Sometime this week, Oaks apparently plans to meet with key figures from the Maxwell Institute in order to “chop off a few heads” and “lay down the law”.
  7. Oaks is alleged to have said something to the effect that "We’ve got to get this thing back under control before it gets entirely out of hand."
So, some interesting material here. Prior to receiving this message, I had been under the impression that Oaks was sympathetic to the apologists and to FAIR. (Hence his meeting with Scott Gordon.) My informant hasn't yet clarified, but I can't help but wonder if Elder Oaks has perhaps taken over the "mantle" that was formerly carried by the increasingly aged and frail Boyd K. Packer. Or, provided that the intel is accurate, it could simply be that Oaks is finally fed up with the apologists' antics. Who knows? This sort of material is virtually impossible to verify, but nonetheless I proffer it to the board for the sake of interest. As usual, all my warnings re: skepticism, etc. apply. And yes: it's possible that my informant is simply making it all up. The best means of evaluating this, I suppose, is to wait and see whether or not links start disappearing from FAIR, MDL, MST, etc.

All that said, I do wonder if the apologists' behavior towards Mike Reed is related to these allegations in some way. Sure: the MI crew have a history of blowing up and attacking people, but even this seemed a bit extreme for them. It's almost as if they're panicking in an effort to do damage control. If Oaks really is threatening to "chop off a few heads," the apologists' behavior suddenly becomes a lot more understandable. After all, we've got Gee, Roper, DCP, Hamblin, Midgley, and Mitton all tangled up in this somehow, and it does seem odd that Mike Reed's rather innocuous paper would have caused this big of an eruption. (Incidentally, didn't DCP say something about having to attend a meeting in Salt Lake City pretty soon?)

But I'm just speculating here. It'll be interesting to see how this pans out.
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FAIR Changes Mormon Defenders Website Name
Tuesday, Nov 22, 2011, at 07:59 AM
Original Author(s): Drifting
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
"The Mormon Defense League" is out. "MormonVoices" is in:

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/70...
"As an organization we will continue to publicly stand up for the LDS Church and correct misinformation spread by public figures," Lynch said. But the new name is less confrontational and more outreach-oriented, and "more clearly reflects our approach and fits well with the admonition by our leaders (for church members) to get involved online."

The new website was launched as part of an effort to monitor news reports in search of errors and misrepresentation. "If somebody writes something - whether a journalist or even a politician - that is egregiously bad, we will correct them," Gordon said in August.
And by "correct them" meaning watered down apologetic material.

Dallin Oaks is starting to have an influence...

This is sounding like the Lamanite thing again.

Mormon Defense League, becomes

Mormon Voices, becomes

Mormon Occasional Responses On News Stories, but perhaps they'll abbreviate...
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FAIR And The Best Press Money Can Buy
Thursday, Apr 5, 2012, at 07:06 AM
Original Author(s): Drw
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
FAIR is apparently now paying for press releases describing how objective they try to be.

The MDD thread is here:

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/57404-fair-strives-to-be-objective/page__st__20

The SF Chronicle "article" in question is here:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

Mariner's post over on MADBoard (for those who do not allow themselves to visit that place) is here:
Come on folks.

First of all, the "article" is marked as a press release. It is on PRWeb, which charged me an arm and a leg for releasing my "news" last time I used them. (Check out ).

Press releases are not exactly considered objective sources of information. They are, in fact, a not-so-subtle form of paid advertisement.

Secondly, the title of the article is: Mormon Apologists Strive for Objectivity Says President of FAIR. The article goes on to admit that FAIR does not actually achieve objectivity (see below).

At least Bro. Gordon is honest enough to admit that FAIR is biased in his following statement quoted in the article.

Gordon said, explaining that FAIR members believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is really the ancient Church of Jesus Christ restored in the latter days through Joseph Smith. However, he further explained that in defending the Church, FAIR members strive for an objective approach to the evidence and answers based in the best scholarship available.


So, all that this "newspaper article" really demonstrates is that the LDS Church can afford the best press money can buy.
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Adventures In Cyber-Stalking: FAIR Wiki's Smear Of Dehlin
Thursday, Apr 26, 2012, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Despite Wiki Wonka's reassurances that the FAIR Wiki is all about "objectivity," it seems that some of the more zealous members of the editing staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty. Check this out:

http://en.fairmormon.org/Criticism_of...

I had to laugh at some of the commentary, like this, which could very well be a cut-and-paste of Elder Wonka's own description of the FAIR Wiki itself:
The website mormonthink.com is designed to lead Church members into questioning their beliefs in a non-threatening manner by claiming to be "objective" and "balanced." The site claims to be run by active members of the Church. In reality, however, they are "active" only in the sense that they still attend Church–they do not accept the Church's truth claims, and they have no interest in strengthening belief.
Wow... Have I just entered the Bizarro World, or what? Are they talking about FAIR/FARMS, or something else?

Anyhow, the entry goes on to cite several rather candid passages from RfM--apparently the editorial team is more interested in providing an exposé than an "objective" summary of the MormonThink Web site, but what struck me was their commentary on John Dehlin. Now, if you are like me, you may be wondering: What is discussion of John Dehlin doing in a FAIR Wiki article that is ostensibly about MormonThink? I'll let you decide:

FAIR Wiki, Strangely Quoting John Dehlin wrote:
Can you show me a more honest representation of the church and its history online -- anywhere? I can't think of a more honest one...warts and all. Can you? Certainly not FAIR or FARMS. Certainly not LDS.org....My challenge remains: find me a web site that is more honest/objective/accurate/comprehensive on factual Mormon history than Mormon Think. I'm all eyes/ears.... Both (all) sites are biased -- I think that the FAIR site is 50x more biased than Mormon Think. Just my opinion....My experience is that the FAIR/FARMS spin ultimately causes much more harm than good. It's just rarely credible to thoughtful, objective people who are trying to uncover the "truth." Consequently, it can be really disco....Part of what I'm trying to say is that while perfect objectivity is impossible, there are shades of objectivity...and then there is the decision to not be objective at all. I'd argue that you/FAIR/FARMS fall closer to the "not even trying to be objective" scale....and something like MormonThink is at least trying to some degree...even though there is a bias.
You'll notice that this excerpt is riddled with ellipses--clearly it was cobbled together out of something else. Well, luckily for us, the editors at the FAIR Wiki have given us the following attribution:
John Dehlin, post on Dehlin’s Facebook wall, 3-4 January 2012, off-site
So, what? They are cyber-stalking Dehlin on Facebook? The FAIR Wiki provides a link, and indeed you can see an ongoing, casual conversation that does indeed contain all of the above quotes. But why is this appropriate material for a FAIR Wiki entry, given what Wiki Wonka has told us about the site's purpose? I noticed that the main person complaining about Dehlin's views on Facebook is one "Trevor Holyoak." Is this person a FAIR volunteer, and/or does he participate on the MDD board?

In any case, it seems clear that Dehlin, despite his having reached out to DCP, is squarely in the apologists' reticle.
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FAIR Trying To Silence The Critics On The Web - Deseret News
Monday, Apr 30, 2012, at 07:26 AM
Original Author(s): Lds Truthseeker
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Taken from the homepage of MormonThink.com

Deseret News article written by Daniel Peterson: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/76...

A Deseret News Article by FAIR claims they want to correct the inaccuracies of Mormonism that are appearing in articles which are becoming more prevalent on the web. MormonThink supports this idea but we have different ideas of what this means.

The LDS organization FAIR (Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research) is making an organized effort to ensure that faith-promoting comments about the LDS church will drown out all other comments that are critical of the LDS church, regardless of whether or not they are true.

The article written by Mormon apologist Daniel Peterson, discusses his strategy of keeping people from learning the real hidden truths of Mormonism by trying to dominate the comment sections of Internet articles that discuss Mormonism. He claims they only want to correct misinformation. We at MormonThink totally agree with correcting misinformation and support a similar strategy by the MoreTruthFoundation started last year.

We agree that if someone says that Mormons don’t believe in Christ or are not Christian, we should correct that. Of course Mormons are Christian, although we have beliefs not shared by most other Christian churches such as the belief in the Book of Mormon as scripture.

HOWEVER, the problem is that FAIR wants to sugarcoat the answers and still keep the disturbing details of the church secret from the public. For example, go to their website called MormonVoices mentioned in the article. They discuss some of the issues so you can use information from their one-sided, incomplete, carefully-scripted commentary on selected issues that only support the church, even if they don’t really tell the true, complete story.

For example, look at their section on race. They do accurately provide recent statements that the modern Mormon church denounces racism. However, they don’t really address the concerns of those commenters that want to know why the blacks were denied the priesthood and the opportunity to have black families sealed in the LDS temples all the way up till 1978. Why on earth couldn’t a righteous black family be sealed to each other until 1978? Their site doesn’t even address that question, nor attempt to answer it.

The Mormonvoices site also totally disavows the belief that the ‘skin of blackness’ was a curse. They actually suggest the mark of Cain could have been a ‘tattoo’. This is total nonsense as shown by the Book of Mormon scriptures themselves:

2 Nephi 5: 21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.'

And then when the Lamanites repented their cursed black skin became white again:

3 Nephi 2:15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites."

So how could a tattoo be the curse? This is sheer nonsense because FAIR doesn’t want nonmembers to know the details of how the Book of Mormon teaches that God cursed people with black skin when they were bad and made their skin white again when they were good.

The current LDS children’s book continues to promote this notion of equating dark-skin with a curse caused by wickedness:

“Laman and Lemuel’s followers called themselves Lamanites. They became a dark-skinned people. God cursed them because of their wickedness.”

How many other christian churches currently teach these racial attitudes to the children in their congregations?

And of course they don’t mention any of the racist quotes made by prophets and apostles of the church that equate dark skin with the curse:

John Taylor, President of the Church "And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God;..." Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, page 304

President Brigham Young "If the White man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain (those with dark skin), the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so."

Apostle Mark E. Peterson "If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the Celestial Kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory.“ sermon to BYU students, 1954

To see the real, full story on Blacks and the Priesthood. http://www.mormonthink.com/blackweb.h...

Of course FAIR would have you believe that the church leaders never said any of these things and many, many more. And every other issue they advise members on such as polygamy, Book of Mormon historicity, Book of Abraham, etc. has the same lack of detail which is what they want to promote to the world in an effort to keep the disturbing truths of Mormonism from nonmembers and members.

Another point to make is that FAIR is not endorsed by the LDS church, and everything they say is merely the opinions of average every day members that the church won’t officially support. So why isn’t the church providing answers to these questions that are popping up all over the Internet? Why won’t they officially endorse FAIR’s answers as correct? They won’t stand behind FAIR, however they will hide behind them. It appears they want FAIR to defend the church because if it backfires, they can always say “they weren’t officially speaking for the church”.

We at MormonThink support the MoreTruthFoundation’s plan to spread the real, non-sugarcoated facts about the church. We do not want any critics to ever lie on these comments boards or to make the church’s history seem worse than it is, but we encourage everyone to not be shy in telling the real truth about the church and answering in detail the questions commenters really have about the church and its past. Since the church and FAIR won't tell the people what they really want to know about the church, it's up to us to speak the absolute truth. More information can be found at How To Help. http://www.moretruthfoundation.com/ho...

Again we will state that FAIR will only give a one-sided argument of the church. They never link to any critic’s site so you can’t see the full arguments that the critics make, which are much, much stronger than what FAIR purports them to be. FAIR only wants you to look at their point of view. However, MormonThink has over 300 links to FAIR, FARMS and LDS.org, etc so anyone can see exactly what the pro-side of any argument is in their own words as well as links to the best critics' sites so you can see those arguments also. Only by reading each side, from their own sites, can everyone get a complete viewpoint on every issue so then they can decide for themselves what makes the most sense.
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FAIR Says It Never Happened - Electroshock Therapy
Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at 07:47 AM
Original Author(s): Spintobear
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
So it must be true. All you who claim BYU did this under the direction of the church are just silly, they did this on their own, independent of the church of course, just like they do almost all of their studies there, right???

http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_an...

1978, when I spilled the beans to my bishop about my wild, lustful days when I came out of the closet while in the army, during a mission interview, he said I needed to visit church social services. He sent me to see a counselor at BYU, at which point I endured four sessons of electro shock therapy.

Not until I signed a statement saying I was no longer gay did it stop. I was only 21 years old at the time and felt like this was what the lord would expect of me. Not until some kind men in Salt Lake took me under their wing and showed me how to live life on my own without the church could I get it all out of my system.

SO, BYU did this independantly, but by referral from a ward bishop. Yeah right, no connection at all.
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FAIR: Brigham Young University Was Not In Any Direct Way Endorsing The Procedures Used Re Electroshock Therapy
Tuesday, May 1, 2012, at 07:50 AM
Original Author(s): Sl Cabbie
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
They're Emulating Brigham Young with that "Plausible Deniability" Tact.

http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_an...

The LDS Church in Utah County is organized with a number of student wards with untrained lay bishops (and that means you, Danny Boy Peterson!) listening to the "issues" of members...

Referrals were offered (with the club of "excommunication" just subtly placed on the table) and participants forced to sign non-disclosure agreements...

Honest folks, nobody chooses to be gay (and I've got a lot of empathy for that one because nobody chooses to be alcoholic either).

Now the reality is I'm friendly with a girl who's probably in her late 30's now (which makes that 1970's claim a baldfaced lie) who was a cab passenger of mine two years ago...

While sitting in my taxi struggling with some hiccups from a few too many beers, in reply to a question from me whether that was her partner she'd just sent inside for my cab fare (all of seven dollars), asked, "Does that bother you?"

I mentioned my (and RFM's) dear friends Kathy Worthington and her partner, Sara, both now gone, and my activities and sharing on this site...

"I'm a Mormon," she volunteered. "They shocked me to try to get me to change."

I'd heard similar stories here from men, but never a woman. "This was at BYU?" I asked.

"Yes. They strapped electrodes to my private parts, showed me pictures of nude women, and shocked me when I responded.

Anyone who thinks a woman would volunteer something like that to a total stranger if it weren't true is nucking futs.

Period.

Lie for the Lard and pass the Etch-a-Sketch...
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FAIR = Fabricating And Inventing Reality
Monday, May 7, 2012, at 07:30 AM
Original Author(s): Desert_vulture
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
I watched the presentations, not the QandA.

http://mormonstories.org/uvu-mormonis...

I was impressed with John Dehlin's uncanny ability to sit smack dab in the middle of the fence, without appearing to mind at all. He is definitely unique. He presented some of the very issues that caused my disaffection. I have talked with him a number of times by phone, and consider him a friend. His story of Marco tugged at my heartstrings as I remembered all too clearly the pain of my own disaffection, many years ago. John considers the church to be a net good influence, which is where I disagree with him, but I do think that he does a good job of discussing current disaffection.

I was not impressed with Scott's presentation. He came across as nervous, bumbling, and yet arrogant and proud. He claimed that FAIR's lawsuit against Lighthouse Ministries actually paved the way for freedom of speech on the internet. It sounded a lot like Al Gore taking credit for inventing the internet. Scott made continual references to anti-Mormons and anti-Mormon literature, and actually referred to John Dehlin as a Secular Anti-Mormon, which I found very interesting. John Dehlin is a far cry from an anti-Mormon. He speaks positively about the church. He sees good in the church. He is being an advocate for openness about church history. To hear Scott discredit John as an anti-Mormon just reinforced my view that TSCC views anyone with contradictory opinions to the official sanitized version, as an enemy to the church. Scott tried to make fun of the Tanners who discovered over 4,000 changes to the Book of Mormon, by saying that FAIR has found over 105,000 changes! Well, then the Tanners were right! And their estimate was conservative! He didn't say why the BoM was still true if there were over 105,000 changes made to the "most perfect book on earth."

He talked about common "anti-Mormon" tactics, as if those with faith issues automatically get some kind of agenda to destroy Mormonism. I don't think that many of us here have an agenda. But Scott sure provided evidence that the church feels like we are a threat. He said a common "anti-Mormons" tactic was to say that the church is hiding information. He gave JS' plural marriages, and the rock in a hat as examples.

He said the church has openly discussed these issues for years, then gave references to isolated church articles which discussed them. For JS' plural marriages he gave Ensign issues from August 1992, January 1989, December 1978, and February 1977, and the New Era December 1973. I don't know about any of you, but I don't remember discussing Joseph Smith's polygamy at church or in Seminary, where the real teaching goes on.

On the rock in the hat he gave references to the Ensign January 1997, July 1993, January 1988, and September 1977, with The Friend of September 1974. Again, how can 4 or 5 vague articles scattered over decades be considered being open, when the golden plates version is still the way it is taught in church, Seminary, and on the church's website? Does he not realize that these translation methods are mutually exclusive? Dan Petersen once asked me on FAIR, "How did JS fit such large plates into a hat?" trying to play dumb about my questions about the rock in a hat. Now they don't have a FAIR discussion board, because they were taking a beating every day, I remember watching it. But back to the point. You don't teach thousands of seminary students the golden plate version of translation, then print a few Ensign articles over 50 years about the rock in a hat version, and then say you've been open about it. Ridiculous.

It is fascinating that Scott talked about Joseph Smith's polyandry and use of a rock in a hat as "anti-Mormon" topics. Really, they are just part of the authentic history of the church, and characterizing these issues as "anti-Mormon" you really throw a spotlight on them. Its funny how apologists categorize tough issues as "Anti-Mormon" because it is such a lame defense to label someone, rather than deal with the root cause of the issue.

Scott also said "Too many members believe that we teach history in Sunday School classes. That is not what we do." OK, well, then stop talking about the Spring of 1820, or April 6, 1830, or June 27, 1844 then. You can't have it both ways. If you are going to discuss church history, then discuss it. But don't tell me you don't talk about history in Sunday School, because its exactly what you do.

Scott's Lawrence Foster quote paints church critics as using "black and white" logic, which I thought was ironically hilarious.

I did learn that Mormon Voices is now FAIR's internet attack dog, and Scott tried to recruit more people to participate. I don't think he has a clue of the blood bath he is inviting.

Rosemary's presentation was scholarly and interesting. She made an observation offhand that the "fear of information is real and ongoing" in the church. I don't think she even realized the gravity of her offhand remark to their truth claims. Of course the Q15 wouldn't describe their mindset as fearful. But Rosemary thinks they are.

She said "The Mormons I analyzed have similar testimonies to the General Authorities, and the General Authorities in turn model their own testimonies after the Joseph Smith experience." This comment floored me as I realized that Joseph Smith effectively cloned himself to future generations forever, as long as the church stays in existence. I had thought this thought before, that the church was a mirror image of the narcissism of JS. But to hear a sociologist from the University of Pennsylvania say it, just floored me.

Rosemary's presentation was a complex logical analysis of the sociology of members who encounter doubt, and I noticed a couple of folks leaving her presentation early at about 1:12 on the video. They probably thought "what the hell language is she speakin' up thar" and just headed out, but I thought that was funny. Most of her research and arguments probably fell on deaf ears.
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Allen Wyatt, Mike Parker & Fair: A Growing Fear Of Dehlin?
Monday, May 7, 2012, at 07:36 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
We now know, thanks to multiple reliable sources, that a Dan Peterson-led verbal assault on "Mormon Stories" host John Dehlin was successfully averted thanks to the intervention of one of the Apostles. But a lot of questions remain: Was DCP the principal author of this attack? Was it really "100" pages long? And what did it say?

FARMS / The Maxwell Institute has always been the front line for attacks on critics: if a full-blown character assassination takes place in the pages of the Review, you rest assured that this has the status of orthodoxy amongst the lower-tier Mopologists. Bearing that in mind, I cannot help but wonder how the cancellation of this "hit piece" on Dehlin will play out in the Mopologetic "farm system"--i.e., FAIR. On a separate thread, I pointed out that some of the FAIR personnel had cyber-stalked John Dehlin and harvested a comment of his off of Facebook in order to portray him in a negative light on a FAIR Wiki entry. Ultimately, somebody--probably Wiki Wonka, imo--thought better of it and deleted the comment.

Clearly, this demonstrated that there is a great deal of hostility among the FAIR volunteers on the topic of John Dehlin. Perhaps readers here recall a bit of a get-together and UVU, where Dehlin appeared on a panel. Interestingly, it seems that Allen "The Slug" Wyatt set up a kind of "gotcha" situation, where with the camera rolling, he seemed ready to catch Dehlin in all his "evil"

http://www.fairblog.org/2012/05/02/lo...

Allen Wyatt wrote:
On March 29, 2012, Utah Valley University hosted a fascinating conference entitled Mormonism and the Internet. Perhaps the most interesting exchanges, for me, were those in session five of the conference, which was a panel discussion among John Dehlin, Scott Gordon, and Rosemary Avance. UVU has just posted this particular conference session online, and I just watched it again.

Rather early in the panel discussion, I asked a question of John Dehlin, as a follow-up to his presentation earlier in the day. You can hear my question beginning at about 13:05 into the video:

"People often study the same facts or issues and come to vastly different conclusions–some have their faith strengthened, while others have their faith destroyed. To what do you attribute this difference in outcome, and why do you feel that the stories of those who have suffered a negative outcome should be privileged over those with a positive outcome?"
Dehlin gives a rather lengthy reply, but Wyatt finds his answer unsatisfying, and he immediately assumes that Dehlin is prevaricating:

Allen Wyatt wrote:
At first I thought that John was being evasive; he didn’t really answer my question which was how people can study the same data and come to differing conclusions.
Does he have a point, though? Dehlin, in his response, lays out a whole set of different reasons why people would approach the "study" (strange word choice, no?) of unpleasant Church history and doctrine in different ways. He explains that people come to different conclusions largely because of their personal situation within the Church: especially the extent to which their life station allows them to fully "question" the Church's truth claims. (For example, Dehlin implies at one point that it is probably impossible for BYU professors to openly and honestly question the Church's claims, because their employment is dependent upon their obedience.)

Wyatt wraps up his inquiry/attack with a series of rhetorical questions:
So I thought I would pose the question here that John raises in the middle of his answer; the one that he seems to obliquely answer by his own faith journey: What happens when a person looks honestly at the facts or issues of Mormonism? Does honesty demand that such questions inevitably lead to a loss of faith, or can one be honest and remain a member of the church?
So, whereas Dehlin's repsose confronts an array of problems and issues, Wyatt has worked to reframe all of this as a kind of black-and-white war, where anyone who stays in the Church is "dishonest." It appears that Wyatt is less interested in actually exploring the issues, and more interested in painting Dehlin as a villain, and in continuing the war with critics. Besides, I think the answer is fairly obvious, and that Wyatt already knows it: the answer is, "Yes." A clear example of this would be Terryl Givens, who appeared on Dehlin's podcast and openly admitted that the Church has basically lied by omission, and that people have every right to feel deceived if they don't learn about, say, polyandry until their forties (or whatever). Someone like Wyatt or DCP would never admit this, though. They may say that there are "problems" with CES, or something benign like that, but they would never, ever acknowledge the sense of betrayal that so many people feel--and this is what Dehlin has been trying to address andcorrect.

In any case, it is interesting to watch these attacks on Dehlin playing out. Perhaps the most telling thing on the thread was the first comment, from none other than Mike "Tuffy" Parker, of SHIELDS fame:
An important side note is that John Dehlin’s study – which he refers to when he speaks of “our data” – was not rigorously done. Instead of polling random former Mormons, he solicited responses from ex-Mormons who follow his podcast and run in the same circles with him. The bias here, from a polling standpoint, is enormous.

in short, his data tell us nothing because his survey sample is homogeneous and voluntary.
Ah. So *that's* it. This is why Dehlin is threatening to them.

The Mopologists have always, always relied on the tactic of insisting that the "sense of betrayal" that I described above is false. We have seen evidence for this again and again: they accuse questioning posters of being trolls. They do what Wyatt did and insist that "smart people can still believe!" (hence "Mormon Scholars Testify"). They paint disaffected members as sinners, lazy, stupid, etc. So Dehlin's study--regardless of its methodological flaws--must be incredibly threatening to them, since it could potentially demonstrate just how real and concrete the problems actually are. If the study's results are true, it takes away one of the Mopologists' main avenues of attack. So of course Wyatt, Parker, Smith and others are freaking out.

And "Tuffy" Parker's criticisms seem somewhat overblown. Yes, it is a problem that the survey was "voluntary" (has there ever been a legit social science survey that wasn't techincally "voluntary"?), but I don't know why Parker is assuming that the sample set is somehow *not* indicative of wider trends in Mormonism. He complains that "[Dehlin] solicited responses from ex-Mormons who follow his podcast and run in the same circles with him," though it's not quite clear why Parker thinks this, or why it amounts to a legitimate criticism. As far as I can tell, Dehlin has an enormous audience that encompasses both believing LDS and ex-Mormons. He attracts people like Richard Bushman, Mike Quinn, and Terryl Givens as guests, so I see no reason to assume that the only respondents were "ex-Mormons ...[who]..run in the same circles." I bet that Parker himself listens to the podcast, so, again: Who is he talking about here?

In any event, it will be very interesting to see if these "farm team" Mopologists will be able to restrain their anger and hatred, or if they will step up their attacks on Dehlin.
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Does FAIR Or The LDS Church Meet This Test Of Honesty?
Tuesday, May 8, 2012, at 11:46 AM
Original Author(s): Zeezrom
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
No they do not. Not at all.

The Mormon Church Leadership, CES, FAIR and all the other LDS cult leadership spin off BS organisations are dishonest.

The LDS publication Gospel Principles? It's authors are basically Conmen IMO, Is it CES?. Do they work for the church, paid by the church? Then IMO they are lying for money if thats the case.

On page 29 under the Chapter heading Baptism they quote Matthew 28:19-20 and have left out the latter half of the quote.

I've emphasised in CAPITALS what they left out.

Matthew 28:19-20 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: AND, LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD. AMEN."

It seems the promise of Christ that he would always be with his Disciples etc even unto the end of the world doesn't quiet suit the bogus LDS apostasy claim so they purposely miss it out.

As far as I am concerned LDS Prophets and Apostles are just Imposters and a facade and don't deserve my time and money for their crap services.
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John Dehlin: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, And Lou Midgley - Re: Maxwell Institute Attack On Dehlin
Thursday, May 10, 2012, at 07:31 AM
Original Author(s): John Dehlin
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
For the record, I'm going to lay out the facts (as I know them) regarding the Greg Smith, Daniel Peterson, Lou Midgley happening of the past few weeks and months.

1) A few weeks back someone contacted me to let me know that the Maxwell institute was about to publish a lengthy, footnoted article dedicated to critiquing/attacking me and Mormon Stories authored by Greg Smith.

2) I immediately emailed Daniel Peterson, and cc'd a few people I consider to be friends, to find out if this was true -- telling him that if, indeed, the story was true, that I would appreciate knowing about it, and that I would be contacting my GA friends to ask for their involvement. This was his response:
You're threatening, blackmailing, and defaming, and I don't appreciate it.

I also don't have time for it, and I'm definitely not in the mood: My older brother, my only sibling and only remaining connection to my parents, died suddenly on Friday. I'm at Harvard to give a lecture tonight and will be in California later in the week for my brother's funeral.

Coincidentally, I had to contact the Orem police yesterday -- and not for the first time -- about threats of violence from an unhinged former Mormon in California.

I don't find what you're attempting here even remotely acceptable.

If you cared at all about my good will, you chose a very bad approach. And your timing couldn't possibly have been worse.

-dcp
3) I replied with the following:
Dr. Peterson,

I am very deeply sorry to hear about your loss.

Also, please know that it is not my intention to do any of those things that you allege. I did not create this situation. Simply, I was very disturbed yesterday to learn that the Maxwell institute might be preparing a hit piece on me, so I responded the best way I knew how to get a response from you.

When things improve for you personally, I hope that you and the Maxwell institute will consider a different approach than you have used in the past. You harm many people, including the church you seek to help, when you attack people publicly for their struggles with legitimate issues. ..... There are I sincerely believe that attacking the messenger harms everyone involved -- you, me, the Maxwell institute and the church included.

My sincere well wishes to you and yours during a hard time. Also, I'm happy to reconsider my approaches, and I hope that you will do the same.

Sincerely,

John Dehlin
He did not respond.

4) When I attended the UVU conference, several people (faithful members of the church) came up to me and told me that they were aware of the article written about me, and were sickened by it -- including people who had read it. I was informed that there was significant disagreement within the Maxwell institute itself about whether or not the article should be published.

5) After my panel discussion at UVU, Lou Midgley came up and verbally assaulted me (that's how it felt to me, anyway) -- threatening me and attempting to tie me to the death of a missionary on my mission (Brian Bartholomew), and trying to tie me to Grant Palmer back in 1992 (one of the most bizarre accusations I've ever heard, since it was another decade before I even learned his name). People took pictures and video of the affair (which I have)....which was pretty funny. The interaction, of course, was not funny. Not at all. It was deeply disturbing to me.

6) I decided to contact a GA friend of mine to let him know about the piece, and to ask him to intervene. Given Midgley's verbal allegations, I was not about to be slandered in that way, and I honestly felt like such an article would sully Neil A. Maxwell's good name, and would be damaging to BYU, the church, and to many members of the church who value what we do with Mormon Stories. The GA told me that he would contact a few people in high places, and that he would do his best to intervene.

7) A few days later I was informed by a very, very reliable source that some very clear communication was given to the Maxwell Institute that publishing this article about me was ill advised, and that an apostle was involved in that communication. I was informed that the decision was made to no longer publish the article via the Maxwell Institute, and that it would be returned to its author, Greg Smith. I was also told to not be surprised if the article ended up being published by FAIR.

8) A few weeks back I wrote Scott Gordon to ask if he intended to publish the article. He declined any knowledge of the article, but did not respond regarding whether or not he intends to publish the article. Still waiting for that response.

A final note: I don't mind being criticized. Not at all. Also, I need to clarify something: I did not respond this way out of a desire to protect or save myself, or out of a spirit of censorship. My guess is that this article, in the end, would have probably given us more credibility and publicity regarding the good things we are trying to do at Mormon Stories

So why did I fight the article? I did it because I believe in my heart that the old school, disingenuous, ad hominem-style apologetics a la Daniel Peterson and Louis Midgley are very, very damaging: to the church, to its members, to its former members, and mostly to its targets. My strategic hope was that fighting this article within the ranks of church leadership could be used to help bring light these damaging tactics, and hopefully drive a death nail or two into them (these tactics). I don't know if I've ultimately succeeded on that front (time will tell, I guess), but based on feedback from several sources, I feel like it may have done some good in this regard. If not, well....at least I tried.

For those who want to know what Mormon Stories is all about, see here: http://mormonstories.org/about/

I'll end by quoting from our shared values statement:

1) We acknowledge the richness of Mormon heritage, teachings, and community in all of its diversity.

2) We believe that one can self-identify as Mormon based on one’s genealogy, upbringing, beliefs, relationships, and other life experiences, regardless of one’s adherence or non-adherence to the teachings or doctrines of any religious organization.

3) We seek spaces where we as Mormons can live lives of intellectual and spiritual integrity, individual conscience, and personal dignity.

4) We acknowledge and honor different spiritual paths and modes of religious or non-religious truth-seeking. We respect the convictions of those who subscribe to ideas and beliefs that differ from our own.

5) We recognize the confusion, distress, emotional trauma, and social ostracism that people on faith journeys often experience. We seek constructive ways of helping and supporting people, regardless of their ultimate decisions regarding church affiliation or activity.

6) We affirm the inherent and equal worth of all human beings. We seek spaces where Mormons (and all people) can interact as equals regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation. In this spirit of egalitarianism, we prefer non-authoritarian and non-hierarchical means of organization and affiliation.

7) In addition to explicitly striving to align all operations with the Mormon Stories Shared Values, we endeavor to ensure that the projects we undertake: a) support individuals in Mormon-related faith crises, b) save marriages, c) heal families, and d) celebrate, challenge, and advance Mormon culture in healthy ways.
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FAIR's Inability To Understand Their Tone Issues
Monday, May 14, 2012, at 07:45 AM
Original Author(s): Gadianton
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
I took a look at the FAIR blog, where Wyatt issued the recent challenge under discussion in other threads.

http://www.fairblog.org/

Wyatt wrote:
Earlier today a well-known critic of FAIR made the following statement on an Internet message board:

“MI/FAIR/FARMS has a history of nasty ad hominem attacks (see the -edited- adultery accusations)…”

We at FAIR have been asking, for a long, long time, for concrete examples of where we have engaged in ad hominem fallacies, as we don’t really want to do so. (I know; that may seem incredulous to some. But it really is true.) This statement, by the critic on the message board, was the first concrete example I’ve noticed.
Right away, you see the distortion, which builds up to this:

Wyatt wrote:
Even so, the fact that he was charged with adultery could be used as an ad hominem fallacy if (and only if) it is presented as a reason to disregard the arguments of a person. Such a usage would be wrong, and definitely a logical fallacy. It plainly should not be done in scholarly discourse.
The critic didn't charge FAIR with committing ad hominem fallacies, but ad hominem attacks. Allen twists the criticism into something easier to handle and argues more or less correctly, that attacking someone isn't necessarily a fallacy. If you call someone a name, is that a logical fallacy? No. I guess then, FAIR is in the clear to call people names since it's not a fallacy. No critic who has ever made the charge of "attacks" is concerned much with the "ad hominem fallacy". Out of the hundreds of fallacies the apologists engage in on a regular basis, why would critics only care about just this one?

If Allen wants an example of the fallacy, there's an easy one glaring right on page 1 of his blog by Mike Parker,

Parker wrote:
Perennial ex-Mormon gadfly Richard Packham apparently fails to understand...
Is painting Packham as the grossest fly on a horse's butt not a rhetorical flourish intended to undermine Packham's credibility? In the most scholarly double-blind journals, is it common to refer to fellow academics one disagrees with as perennial gadflies? Is it common to point out the person "fails to understand" something, rather than pointing out the argument the person made is incorrect? It's very easy to find ad hominem fallacies from FAIR.

I think Allen my not realize how low the bar is to commit the "fallacy" in question.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_homin... Check out this example, Quote:
"Your exposition is highly correct and valid, but you don't have enough academic degree" (Credential fallacy, official degree fallacy). [6]
LOL! Allen, you might have to rescind your challenge or disband FAIR. LOL!

But this is hardly the main issue for critics, it's the actual attacks themselves. And this all a part of a bigger tone problem FAIR has. Look at Stephen Smoot's essay about first vision suppression. The strong implication in his kiddy sarcasm is that a questioning member with concerns about the first vision is an idiot. And his post is riddled with fallacies, by the way.

Also check out the Baptism for the Dead thread, another installment of "Jewish people are too sensitive!" And filled with fallacies, by the way. I recommend FAIR ask its mature members to handle the especially hot topics like these.

The FAIR blog is heavily geared toward polemics, sarcasm, and mockery, and thrives in fallacious argumentation. Interestingly enough, Allen is the only Author I read on page 1 who seems to really be trying to "hold it back", as it were. But on this particular matter his representation of the critic's concern is incorrect, and his piece becomes a strawman and a red herring, even if he manages to avoid ad hominem.
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Fair - Do They Publish A Financial Statement?
Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012, at 07:31 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
From the latest FAIR newsletter:
Without your donations, there would be no FAIR. But, with your donations, we are able to reach more people, participate more in the public square, and get more involved in refuting the mischaracterizations of our faith.

If you like our articles and want us to continue to be involved, please make a donation now.
Does FAIR publish a financial statement?

They don't publish one, but they are required to file financial information with the IRS, and because they are a non-profit, this information is a matter of public record. Based on what I was able to find, it appears that, over the past five years, FAIR has managed to raise close to $400,000 in assets. (The most recent IRS form is from fiscal year 2010.) Interestingly, in 2009, they managed to rake in over $100,000, most of which appears to have come from, among other things, "admissions [and] merchandise sold or services performed." Who, I wonder, is paying them for this? Do they bring this in just on the annual conference alone? There is a separate section on the form for "Gifts, grants, contributions and membership fees," but this is a very small fraction of the money that's coming in from "merchandise sold or services performed" etc. I was told at one point by one of my most reliable "informants" that FAIR was being funded by "backdoor channels." I'm still not sure what this meant, but I assumed at the time that the Brethren had somehow arranged/contrived for FAIR to receive financing so that they could do apologetics.

Another interesting piece of information from the form is that it appears to list the members of the FAIR Board--something that they've been hesitant to announce. Per this form (which, again, comes from fiscal year 2010), the members of the FAIR Board were:

--Scott Gordon (President)
--Dana Repouille (Secretary)
--John Lynch (Director)
--Allen Wyatt (Vice President)
--Juliann Reynolds (Director)
--Kevin Barney (Director)
--Daniel Peterson (Director)

This, to me, is remarkable. Juliann and Allen "The Slug" Wyatt have this much power? Out of this crew, Kevin Barney is the only halfway reasonable person. It should give anyone pause to think that this crew is running the helm at FAIR. How, for example, can someone like Wiki Wonka feel comfortable contributing to this? Does he think that the mere presence of Barney is enough to save the ship? (Also, I'm rather stunned that Allen Wyatt is ranked this high in the FAIR hierarchy.)

In any case, I've always been fascinated by Mopologetic finances. When I first began inquiring into this matter, Dr. Peterson went absolutely ballistic, which of course led me to believe that I was onto something important. The more we have dug into this issue, the more it has turned out that our worst suspicions were correct.

I am guess that, in the wake of the "shake up" at the MI, we can expect either (a) the new IRS forms at FAIR to look very, very different, or (b) which I think is more likely, they will alter their tax-exempt status in such a way that they no longer have to make this information publicly available.

Kevin Graham is absolutely right: there is really no reason why FAIR would need "a million dollars." What do they imagine that they would do differently if they had that kind of money? I'm sure that some of the people on the Board would like to use it to pay themselves to do apologetics full time. But we'll see what happens.
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FAIR Article On Death Before The Fall - Some Real Gems
Monday, Sep 17, 2012, at 07:56 AM
Original Author(s): Sherlock
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_an...

So after discussing church leaders (including prophets) who have differed in their views on both sides of the argument as to whether there was death before the fall, the article admits that.......... wait for it............. 'The church takes no official position on it'. The article also mentions that debate on this topic isn't important to our salvation and is purely an academic exercise.

Now hold on, 1) as this board attests, it was important enough an issue to be the key catalyst for a number of people that have since left the church, including our very own 'Anointed One'. 2) I was always taught that the circumstances of the fall (and subsequently the need for the atonement) was central to salvation, so why such confusion, sitting on the fence and a real lack of clarity?

The article also throws out the following gems:

* a suggestion that 'all things' denoted in 2 Ne 2:22 could be referring just to 'all things in the garden of Eden' and not all things on the entire earth (Limited Fall Theory?!)

* an admission that on some things church theory seems to contradict science - thanks, I think I know which side I'll stick with.

* Even though the bible dictionary states that there was no death before the fall, we should recognise that this 'aid' isn't infallible - Ok, that's good to know, so now we can also disregard everything else that's stated in the BD?

* That even when leaders/prophets have said things on the subject, we have to recognise the fallibility of man - ok, so we go back to the question of when any church leader is 'speaking for God'?

So in conclusion - the scriptures could be interpreted differently, the bible dictionary can't be trusted, church leaders and profits could be wrong, the church lesson manuals are vague, the church has no official position and it isn't even important anyway.

And they wonder why they're losing so many intelligent members? As was stated elsewhere on this board: 'everything makes so much more sense when you realise it's all made up'.
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"Prophets Are Not Scientists"
Friday, Nov 30, 2012, at 12:08 PM
Original Author(s): Xyz
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
"Prophets are not scientists: Their views of science tend to reflect the prevailing views of the time."

http://en.fairmormon.org/Mormonism_an...

They certainly are not scientists. IF they REALLY were in discourse with a deity they claim is intelligent enough to have created the entire universe, then how is it that their deity's clock needed a good cleaning before they even got started?

From their very beginnings in the early 19th century (around the same time Joe Smith, Sid Rigdon, and Ollie Cowdery were concocting their Manifest Destiny Meso-American Adventure Fantasy), sociologists (social scientists) recognized that despite racial distinctions, humans are humans and that slavery was, in practice, an unstable and undesirable blight on human development. In the United States this knowledge eventually resulted in the adoption of the XII, XIV, and XV Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (respectively: 1865, 1868, 1870). The United States was among the LAST major Western nations to ban slavery, and it even took a while longer for us to deal with the fallout caused by the institution of slavery: racial discrimination.

In contrast, Mormons (who claim a two-way exclusive to the cellphone of the ruling deity of the universe) apparently didn't get any of those memos until ...1978.

Let's get clear on that: it took Mormon god AT LEAST 108 years to pick up the clue phone that All God's Chillun Got Wings. No, Mormon prophets certainly are not scientists, LOL! They aren't even good bellwethers, BECAUSE THE PREVAILING VIEW IN 1865-1870 IS WHAT GOT THOSE THREE AMENDMENTS ADOPTED INTO OUR CONSTITUTION.

That isn't all of it, either: they're still getting their social science dead wrong. Demonstrating his freakish miscomprehension of sociology and history, in a speech delivered at BYU-Idaho on 13 October 2009 Mormon leader Dallin Oaks likened present-day Mormons to 1950s Black Civil Rights activists, claiming that the LGBT community oppresses Mormons just as white racists oppressed Blacks. The wildly positive acceptance of that speech within the Mormon sphere demonstrates that from top to bottom Mormons still harbor unresolvable race issues. They cannot even keep up with "the prevailing views of the time."

What is taking the Mormons so long? Is there static on the line? Has a Kolobian energy-storm disrupted the connection? Did Mormon god change his service agreement and not tell them?

I propose that from the outset we should accept the premise that Mormon prophets are not scientists, then go many more steps down the road of what they are not: Mormon "prophets" are not prophets.

What, then, are Mormon "prophets"? They are neo-Luddites. They are so terrible at prophesying and bellwethering that their sucky social sciences record places them solidly within the category of "Dumbest Last-place Losers" in the human herd.

Do you remember the children's game called Follow-the-Leader?

Here is how it is played: first, a leader is designated then all the other children line up behind the leader. The leader then moves around and all the children have to mimic everything the leader does. Any players who fail to do so are out of the game. The last child standing other than the leader (the one most able to mimic the leader in everything) is now the new leader.

But the rules of the game are only part of my point: do you also recall that the leader, in order to confuse the followers and impel them to failure, might resort to engaging in actions, gestures, or procedures of a particularly complex, outlandish or bizarre nature?

It is a simple children's game, is it not? Most of us probably played it well before we were even in Kindergarten, because it is a game that helps teach us very basic positive social behaviors.

Yet it also carries a moral with it: if all we do is play Follow-the-Leader then the Leader is free to take us where he will. And it follows that Following, without directing thought or contemplation toward what we are doing and where we are going, might take us where we ought not to be. The implications are no longer merely silly and playful: they have the potential to be foolish, malignant, or dangerous.

Since 1820, Mormon "prophet" after Mormon "prophet" has set himself up to be a Leader based on the hollowest of claims, with the flimsiest of qualifications, without tangible proof of anything. And generations of grown-up Mormons have played Follow-the-Leader, willy-nilly. It is this tendency which has gotten Mormons and Mormonism into some very bad places in their history. It is this tendency which continues to put Mormons and Mormonism into bizarre social positions today.

If Mormon "prophets" can function as neither scientists nor bellwethers, then of what use are they? Their views of science do not reflect the prevailing views of the period - they remain steadfastly stuck in the prevailing views of decades or centuries past! Isn't it time Mormons grew up, stopped playing children's games, and started directing sober thought and contemplation to what they are doing, where they are going, and what kind of Leaders they are Following?
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FAIR Is Dishonest
Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012, at 09:06 AM
Original Author(s): Tapirrider1
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
They hide the truth on this link, http://en.fairmormon.org/Book_of_Morm... saying "At what point in modern times this New York hill was first called Cumorah is difficult to determine." FAIR says that David Whitmer's account was the earliest possible association of Cumorah with the New York hill, written in 1878. FAIR fails to tell us that Oliver Cowdery associated Cumorah with the hill in New York in 1835, in the Messenger and Advocate, written for all of the early church to read.

Messenger and Advocate, Vol. I. No. 10., July, 1835, page 158 http://www.centerplace.org/history/ma...

"I must now give you some description of the place where, and the manner in which these records were deposited."

"...when one reflects on the fact, that here, between these hills, the entire power and national strength of both the Jaredites and Nephites were destroyed."

"By turning to the 529th and 530th pages of the book of Mormon you will read Mormon's account of the last great struggle of his people, as they were encamped round this hill Cumorah."

"From the top of this hill, Mormon, with a few others, after the battle, gazed with horror upon the mangled remains of those who, the day before, were filled with anxiety, hope, or doubt."

It was reprinted again in Nauvoo.

Times and Seasons, Vol. 2 No. 12, April 15, 1841, pages 378-379 http://www.centerplace.org/history/ts...

It was republished in Liverpool in 1844 http://archive.org/stream/lettersbyol...

It was republished in Salt Lake in 1899 Improvement Era, Vol. II No. 9, July 1899 http://archive.org/stream/improvement...

Joseph Smith wrote a letter to his wife Emma on June 4, 1834:

http://josephsmithpapers.org/paperSum...

"wandering over the plains of the Nephites, recounting occasionally the history of the Book of Mormon, roving over the mounds of that once beloved people of the Lord, picking up their skulls and their bones, as proof of its divine authenticity”.

He didn't write "hey honey, I'm seeing a bunch of ruins and bones from the wicked Lamanites that lived on after they killed all the Nephites." The Book of Mormon says the Nephites were all destroyed in the final battle and Joseph said "Nephites". That tells us when he thought the people whose bones he was handling had died.

Ask the Mormons why Nephites were destroyed in Pike County, Illinois if Cumorah was in Mexico or Guatemala?

It was only about a year after that letter to Emma when Oliver Cowdery wrote that the hill Cumorah in New York was the location of the final battle.

The LGT Crowd Will Try to Obfuscate This One...

That one requires "two Hill Cumorahs," which isn't as big of a stretch as a lot of other apologetic shinola, but still...

The First Presidency has spoken on this issue...

http://www.mazeministry.com/frontpage...

You can see a copy of the letter at the bottom, and a photostat is linked as well...

http://www.mazeministry.com/frontpage...
topic image
FAIR renamed to FairMormon
Monday, Aug 26, 2013, at 07:38 AM
Original Author(s): Maksutov
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
From: http://ldsmag.com/article/1/13165

Michael Ash:
It was announced at the 2013 FAIR Conference that FAIR will now be known as FairMormon with the tag line: Critical Questions, Faithful Answers.[ii] As Steven Densley (newly appointed Vice President of FairMormon) explains, "We have changed our name and are updating our websites in order to make them more easily accessible. The name has been simplified. Instead of The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, it is now simply FairMormon. Hopefully this will be easier to remember and will allow us to spend more time doing apologetics rather than spending our time explaining what apologetics is. Our mission has not changed, but hopefully, with the name change and the changes with the websites, our organization will be more effective."
topic image
Debunking FAIR's Debunking Is Now Live
Monday, Feb 24, 2014, at 07:44 AM
Original Author(s): Jeremy
Topic: FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
A native of Southern California, Jeremy was born in the covenant. A 6th generation Mormon of Pioneer heritage, Jeremy reached every Mormon youth milestone. An Eagle Scout, Returned Missionary, and BYU alumnus, Jeremy was married in the San Diego Temple with expectations and plans of living Mormonism for the rest of his life.

In February 2012, Jeremy experienced a crisis of faith, which subsequently led to a faith transition in the summer of 2012. In the spring of 2013, Jeremy was approached and asked by a CES Director to share his concerns and questions about the LDS Church's origins, history, and current practices. In response, Jeremy wrote what later became publicly known as Letter to a CES Director.

Letter to a CES Director very quickly went viral on the internet. The CES Director responded that he read the "very well written" letter and that he would provide Jeremy with a response. No response ever came.

In the fall of 2013, unofficial LDS apologetic group FairMormon publicly released an analysis of Letter to a CES Director. In response, Jeremy wrote Debunking FAIR's Debunking.
"I believe that members and investigators deserve all of the information on the table to be able to make a fully informed and balanced decision as to whether or not they want to commit their hearts, minds, time, talents, income, and lives to Mormonism."
http://www.cesletter.com/debunking-fairmormon/
 
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Archived Blogs:
FAIR - Apologetic Arm Of The LDS Corporation Not Sponsorded By LDS Inc.
Lighthouse: The Group Says A Pro-lds Foundation Is Infringing On Its Trademarks
Tanners' Lawsuit Against FAIR - Link To Copy Of The Complaint
From A 1st Year Law Student's Perspective On Re: Tanners Vs FAIR
Historical Or Hysterical Anti-mormons And Documentary Sources
FAIR Is Hopelessly Desperate For Sources Showing A First Vision Account With Both The Father And The Son Prior To 1838
FAIR Document And New BoD
Thanks To FAIR I Left The Church
What Brigham Really Meant, According To FAIR Members
Mormon On FAIR Boards Acknowledges Rudeness Of Regulars (Mormons) On FAIR Boards
"Is Mormonism a Cult?" - A Rebuttal to FAIR
FAIR: If You Have Questions Then There Must Be Something Wrong With YOU
FAIR Board Cracking Down On Polygamy Will Hurt New Doubters
FAIR Attempts To Blast Hoffman's, "The Golden Pot" Plagarisms To Early Church History
More Mind-Boggling Apologetic Antics From The Self Proclaimed Masters Of Erudition At Fair
Top Ten Reasons To Love Anti-Mormons
FAIR Board Members Comments On $4.2 Million Dollar LDS Sexual Lawsuit - Blame The Victim
Message from CLee In Response To President of FAIR
What Are The Right Reasons For Becoming A Non-Member? FAIR Answers The Question
Update On Utah Lighthouse Ministry, Inc. Vs Allen Wyatt Of FAIR
The Smell Of Coffee Can Lead You Down The Path Of Destruction
Definition Of Anti-Mormon According To FAIR
Charity, An Amateur Apologist Coughs Up A FAIR Ball - If You Are "Anti" You Have Already Lost
Ex-Mormonism Is Referred To As "Spiritual Pornography", How About Referrering To The Fair Boards As "Spiritual Masturbation"
Allen Wyatt And Daniel C. Peterson Of Fair Registering New Websites In Order To Help Confuse Members And Non-Members - In Essence They Are Stooping To "Porn Site" Tactics
The Life And Times Of An Apostate Posting At FAIRLDS
Some Musings On The FAIR Board Posts Re: Racism
Absolutely Pathetic - FAIR Starts Up New WIKI, States Information On Joseph Smith's Plural Marriages Is "Sketchy"
Carbon 14, Cosmic Rays, And The Spritual Method Trumps The Scientific Method
A Trip To FAIR - I Have A Headache And Give Fair A Grade "F"
Juliann: "My Vote Is To Shut The Board Down." Stunning Developments At FAIR
Allen Wyatt's "Practical Joke"
Julian And The Problem With "Apostates"
FAIR Contradicts FAIR
FAIR: A Prophet Doesn't Speak For God
FAIR Now Has A Youtube Channel
Allen Wyatt Finally Comes Clean About The "Savegrantpalmer.com" Debacle
Reality - Challenged MAD Mopologists . . . Includes Shirts' DOA / BOA Stuff
FAIR Admits They Are Not Teaching LDS Official Doctrine
Obfuscation Is Good For Testimonies When It Comes To FAIR
American Bison And The Book Of Mormon
Chairman Of Fair Blasts MormonThink And StayLDS
Apologizing For Mormon Apologists
Were You Taught That The American Indian Were Book Of Mormon People?
Mormon Church Begins Copyright Spree
Mormon Apologetics
FAIR Address Concerns Of The Jewish Nation
FAIR Evidence That Moroni Could Have Walked From Mexico To New York
Never Give Apologies When Apologetics Will Do
One Little Issue With (un)FAIR's Website
FAIR: Contradicting The Church Since 1997
FAIR Launches Mormon Defense League
From My Informant: Oaks "Apoplectic" At FAIR And FARMS
FAIR Changes Mormon Defenders Website Name
FAIR And The Best Press Money Can Buy
Adventures In Cyber-Stalking: FAIR Wiki's Smear Of Dehlin
FAIR Trying To Silence The Critics On The Web - Deseret News
FAIR Says It Never Happened - Electroshock Therapy
FAIR: Brigham Young University Was Not In Any Direct Way Endorsing The Procedures Used Re Electroshock Therapy
FAIR = Fabricating And Inventing Reality
Allen Wyatt, Mike Parker & Fair: A Growing Fear Of Dehlin?
Does FAIR Or The LDS Church Meet This Test Of Honesty?
John Dehlin: Greg Smith, Dan Peterson, John Dehlin, And Lou Midgley - Re: Maxwell Institute Attack On Dehlin
FAIR's Inability To Understand Their Tone Issues
Fair - Do They Publish A Financial Statement?
FAIR Article On Death Before The Fall - Some Real Gems
"Prophets Are Not Scientists"
FAIR Is Dishonest
FAIR renamed to FairMormon
Debunking FAIR's Debunking Is Now Live
5,717 Articles In 332 Topics
TopicImage TOPIC INDEX (332 Topics)
TopicImage AUTHOR INDEX

  · ADAM GOD DOCTRINE (4)
  · APOLOGISTS (53)
  · ARTICLES OF FAITH (1)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD (31)
  · BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD - PEOPLE (16)
  · BLACKS AND MORMONISM (12)
  · BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD (11)
  · BLOOD ATONEMENT (4)
  · BOB BENNETT (1)
  · BOB MCCUE (144)
  · BONNEVILLE COMMUNICATIONS (2)
  · BOOK OF ABRAHAM (50)
  · BOOK OF MORMON (66)
  · BOOK OF MORMON EVIDENCES (18)
  · BOOK OF MORMON GEOGRAPHY (24)
  · BOOK OF MORMON WITNESSES (5)
  · BOOK REVIEW - ROUGH STONE ROLLING (28)
  · BOOKS - AUTHORS AND DESCRIPTIONS (12)
  · BOOKS - COMMENTS AND REVIEWS (44)
  · BOY SCOUTS (22)
  · BOYD K. PACKER (33)
  · BRIAN C. HALES (1)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG (24)
  · BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY (54)
  · BRUCE C. HAFEN (4)
  · BRUCE D. PORTER (1)
  · BRUCE R. MCCONKIE (10)
  · CALLINGS (11)
  · CATHOLIC CHURCH (5)
  · CHANGING DOCTRINE (12)
  · CHILDREN AND MORMONISM (48)
  · CHRIS BUTTARS (1)
  · CHURCH LEADERSHIP (3)
  · CHURCH PUBLISHED MAGAZINES (51)
  · CHURCH TEACHING MANUALS (10)
  · CHURCH VAULTS (4)
  · CITY CREEK CENTER (23)
  · CIVIL UNIONS (14)
  · CLEON SKOUSEN (3)
  · COGNITIVE DISSONANCE (2)
  · COMEDY (128)
  · CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MORMONISM (14)
  · D. MICHAEL QUINN (1)
  · D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSON (6)
  · DALLIN H. OAKS (101)
  · DANIEL C. PETERSON (88)
  · DANITES (4)
  · DAVID A. BEDNAR (23)
  · DAVID O. MCKAY (8)
  · DAVID R. STONE (1)
  · DAVID WHITMER (1)
  · DELBERT L. STAPLEY (1)
  · DESERET NEWS (3)
  · DIETER F. UCHTDORF (13)
  · DNA (23)
  · DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS (8)
  · DON JESSE (2)
  · ELAINE S. DALTON (5)
  · EMMA SMITH (5)
  · ENSIGN PEAK (1)
  · ERICH W. KOPISCHKE (1)
  · EX-MORMON FOUNDATION (33)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 1 (35)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 10 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 19 (26)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 24 (28)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 3 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 4 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 5 (23)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 6 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 8 (24)
  · EX-MORMON OPINION - SECTION 9 (26)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 1 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 10 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 11 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 12 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 13 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 14 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 15 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 16 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 17 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 18 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 19 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 2 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 20 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 21 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 22 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 23 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 24 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 25 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 26 (61)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 3 (21)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 4 (22)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 5 (24)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 6 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 7 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 8 (25)
  · EX-MORMONISM SECTION 9 (26)
  · EXCOMMUNICATION AND COURTS OF LOVE (19)
  · EZRA TAFT BENSON (30)
  · FACIAL HAIR (6)
  · FAIR / MADD - APOLOGETICS (70)
  · FAITH PROMOTING RUMORS (11)
  · FARMS (30)
  · FIRST VISION (23)
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  · JOSEPH SITATI (1)
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  · JULIE B. BECK (6)
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  · KIRTLAND BANK (6)
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  · L. TOM PERRY (5)
  · LAMANITE PLACEMENT PROGRAM (3)
  · LAMANITES (36)
  · LANCE B. WICKMAN (1)
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  · LDS CHURCH (19)
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  · LDS SOCIAL SERVICES (3)
  · LGBT - AND MORMONISM (44)
  · LORENZO SNOW (1)
  · LOUIS C. MIDGLEY (6)
  · LYNN A. MICKELSEN (2)
  · LYNN G. ROBBINS (1)
  · M. RUSSELL BALLARD (13)
  · MARK E. PETERSON (7)
  · MARK HOFFMAN (12)
  · MARLIN K. JENSEN (3)
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  · MARTIN HARRIS (5)
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  · MERRILL J. BATEMAN (3)
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  · MICHAEL R. ASH (26)
  · MITT ROMNEY (71)
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  · MORMON CELEBRITIES (14)
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  · MOUNTAIN MEADOWS MASSACRE (21)
  · MURPHY TRANSCRIPT (1)
  · NATALIE R. COLLINS (11)
  · NAUVOO (3)
  · NAUVOO EXPOSITOR (2)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL (1)
  · NEAL A. MAXWELL INSTITUTE (1)
  · NEIL L. ANDERSEN - SECTION 1 (3)
  · NEW ORDER MORMON (8)
  · OBEDIENCE - PAY, PRAY, OBEY (15)
  · OBJECT LESSONS (15)
  · OLIVER COWDREY (6)
  · ORRIN HATCH (10)
  · PARLEY P. PRATT (11)
  · PATRIARCHAL BLESSING (5)
  · PAUL H. DUNN (5)
  · PBS DOCUMENTARY THE MORMONS (20)
  · PERSECUTION (9)
  · PIONEER DAY (3)
  · PLAN OF SALVATION (5)
  · POLYGAMY (60)
  · PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS (1)
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  · PRIMARY (1)
  · PROCLAMATIONS (1)
  · PROPOSITION 8 (21)
  · PROPOSITION 8 COMMENTS (11)
  · QUENTIN L. COOK (11)
  · RELIEF SOCIETY (14)
  · RESIGNATION PROCESS (31)
  · RICHARD E. TURLEY, JR. (6)
  · RICHARD G. HINCKLEY (2)
  · RICHARD G. SCOTT (7)
  · RICHARD LYMAN BUSHMAN (11)
  · ROBERT D. HALES (5)
  · ROBERT L. MILLET (7)
  · RODNEY L. MELDRUM (15)
  · ROYAL SKOUSEN (2)
  · RUNTU'S RINCON (78)
  · RUSSELL M. NELSON (14)
  · SACRAMENT MEETING (11)
  · SALT LAKE TRIBUNE (1)
  · SCOTT D. WHITING (1)
  · SCOTT GORDON (5)
  · SEMINARY (5)
  · SERVICE AND CHARITY (24)
  · SHERI L. DEW (3)
  · SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS (4)
  · SIDNEY RIGDON (7)
  · SIMON SOUTHERTON (34)
  · SPAULDING MANUSCRIPT (8)
  · SPENCER W. KIMBALL (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 1 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 10 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 11 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 12 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 13 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 14 (17)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 15 (12)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 2 (21)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 3 (18)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 4 (25)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 5 (22)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 6 (19)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 7 (15)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 8 (13)
  · STEVE BENSON - SECTION 9 (19)
  · STORIES (1)
  · SUNSTONE FOUNDATION (2)
  · SURVEILLANCE (SCMC) (12)
  · TAD R. CALLISTER (3)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 1 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 2 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 3 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 4 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 5 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 6 (25)
  · TAL BACHMAN - SECTION 7 (9)
  · TALKS - SECTION 1 (1)
  · TEMPLE WEDDINGS (6)
  · TEMPLES - NAMES (1)
  · TERRYL GIVENS (1)
  · THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE (1)
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  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
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  · TIME (4)
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  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
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  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
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