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  SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS
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SHIELDS stands for "Scholarly & Historical Information Exchange for Latter-Day Saints". It is an apologetic website on the fringe of apologetics. The basis for SHIELDS is to discredit any Anti-Mormon in any way they can. SHIELDS has a very large section devoted to all of the Anti-Mormons and Anti-Mormon websites. We are thankful SHIELDS links to us.
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Shields Research - A Sandbox For Mopologists To Air Their Dirty Works
Saturday, Apr 8, 2006, at 08:07 AM
Original Author(s): Infymus
Topic: SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
SHIELDS stands for "Scholarly and Historical Information Exchange for Latter-Day Saints". It is an apologetic website on the fringe of apologetics. The basis for SHIELDS is to discredit any Anti-Mormon in any way they can. SHIELDS has a very large section devoted to all of the Anti-Mormons and Anti-Mormon websites.

In a nuttshell, SHIELDS is an "sandbox" for Mopologists such as Daniel C. Peterson, Louis Midgley and Matt Roper. It is a place where they can air their dirty laundry outside of the FAIR and FARMS atmospheres. There they can post demeaning articles about Ex-Mormons without fear of reprisal. These Mopologists are like "Doctor Jeykl and Mr. Hide" when it comes to SHIELDS vs. FARMS. They are well behaved on FARMS but turn to SHIELDS to inflict their personal attacks on anyone who speaks out against Mormonism.

This is the description of the Mormon Curtain from SHIELDS:
"The Mormon Curtain" is an anti-Mormon blog site. The curator of the site calls himself "Infymus." His real name is Michael Hoenie. The site seems to be a location where critics of the LDS Church can toot their own horn and speak in demeaning and sarcastic ways, both to garner attention to them selves and to draw feigned sympathy. Intelligent readers can discern such nonsense for exactly what it is, but unfortunately there are those who do not understand the whole picture and can be deceived by these folks. Trying to keep up with a blog is a full time job in itself. We shall not attempt to do so, but will post items from time to time that may demonstrate the base prejudices and insecurities of these folks. Some are college professors and professionals in the media, but speak in taunting and demeaning terms as if they were still were still in grade school. This alone should demonstrate the level of their abilities."
What SHIELDS fails to realize is that the Mormon Curtain is not an "Anti-Mormon" site - it is an Ex-Mormon site. However, in the mind of Paying, Praying, and Obeying Mormons such as Daniel C. Peterson, Louis Midgley and Matt Roper - anyone who leaves Mormonism is an "Apostate" and an "Anti-Mormon".

SHIELDS, like FAIR and FARMS exists to contradict, counteract, suppress, withhold and dismiss any claims made by persons outside the LDS Church (read: Anti-Mormon). SHIELDS does this by discrediting authors, creating answers to Mormon questions and dismissing any Anti-Mormon claims in any way they can.

SHIELDS has a very large section on prominent Ex-Mormons in a hope to discredit them in any way they can. This is a tactic used by Mopologists in order to pacify Mormons who are looking for answers. Regular Mormons who strictly obey and lack critical thinking skills accept this kind of behavior without question - and therefore will avoid such Anti-Mormon material. Mopologists such as Daniel C. Peterson use this despicable tactic in an attempt to retain as many Mormon members as possible.

SHIELDS authors Louis Midgley and Matt Roper entered the Utah Light Ministry bookstore and confronted Sandra Tanner. Two men against one woman - they began harassing Sandra - and were successful. They then hopped and skipped back to SHIELDS and wrote up an entire article about the situation - placing disparaging remarks about Sandra and showing how they had "trapped" Sandra in lies. This is EXACTLY how SHIELDS operates: Confront, anger, and then run off and write about it.
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Lou Midgley: An LDS "Capo"?
Monday, Jun 16, 2008, at 06:46 AM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
Image Removed Due To Copyright Claims From SHIELDS

Image Above: Matt Roper and Dr. Louis Midgley: Modern-day Danites?

The past couple of weeks have been a real whirlwind. Much has been disclosed concerning the mysterious and rather dubious nature of apologetics, and, before moving on to the real meat of this thread, I felt that a brief summary would be useful. Here are the key facts which have recently come to light:
The LDS Church has provided a "fundraiser" whose job is to drum up funds for Mormon Apologetics. This "fundraiser" sometimes makes announcements to large gatherings, and, at other times, this "fundraiser" meets in more intimate settings with small groups of wealthy LDS, or with affluent Mormon individuals.

Some apologists receive payment for apologetics. This payment can be made either for written materials, or for administrative duties.

In some cases, BYU salaries are meant to cover administrative work done on behalf of apologetic endeavors.

Some individuals---such as Matt Roper, who is classified as a "research assistant" and "visiting scholar"---are apparently employed full-time as apologists, although DCP and others are reluctant to admit this.
It is this last point---Matt Roper as a full-time apologist---that brings me to the matter at hand. For this thread, we must take a bit of a trip down memory lane.

On a pleasant June day in 1997, Sandra Tanner, one of the proprietors of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry Bookstore was quietly going about her business when two men---the above pictured Roper and Midgley (and perhaps one other individual)---stormed in. It turns out that they were anxious to score a point or two, and perhaps to scare the Tanners into silence. According to Lou Midgley's account of the incident, which is available at SHIELDS, his intent was to browbeat her into submission, and to end her criticism of the LDS Church:

Dr. Midgley wrote:
I explained to Sandra that [Larry] Foster had correctly argued that the Tanners are entirely unwilling to subject their own faith and its foundations to the kinds of demands that they make of Latter-day Saints. To this Sandra replied that Foster was right. I tried to explain that there is something wrong with insisting that we satisfy her demands for what she calls proof and for consistency, when she does not require that Evangelicals satisfy those same standards. Her reply was that her evangelical faith was true and hence did not need to satisfy any standards of proof. And Latter-day Saint faith is false and hence must satisfy her really demanding standards. Like what, I asked? We have no "proof" for the historical authenticity of the Book of Mormon. What might constitute such "proof," I asked? Artifacts that showed that Nephites lived in meso-America? Yes, exactly, was her reply. Would you, if I could show you such an artifact--say, something in stone with Nephi's name on it, agree that the Book of Mormon is authentic history? No, she replied. That would only be a matter for further discussion. She could not think of anything that would convince her that there actually were Nephites.
Later, he elaborates on his desire to score rhetorical points:

Dr. Midgley wrote:
I asked Sandra what was the core or crucial or fundamental historical element in her faith. She replied: "the resurrection of Jesus." Then I asked her what "proof" there was for the resurrection. Which artifact "proves" that Jesus was resurrected. She was silent. Then she began to say that the followers of Jesus believed that he was and some claimed to have actually seen the resurrected Jesus. But, I argued, the mere fact that people believed something does not make it true. After all, lots of Latter-day Saints believe things that she does not accept as true. At this point she was reduced to telling us about her positive "feelings" about Jesus and her negative "feelings" about Joseph Smith. She abandoned her talk about "proof" entirely.
Finally, he closes out his account his a jab at non-LDS Christianity:

Lou Midgley wrote:
Sandra wanted to know if I consider Foster a Christian. I said that if he wanted to think of himself as a Christian, I had no objections. Though, of course, I think his version of Christianity is simply absurd. But not much more absurd than most liberal Christians and probably not more absurd than that held by other apostate Christians.
Obviously, Prof. Midgley's typically bristly personality is in full bloom here. On its face, his account sounds pretty simple: he showed up at the bookstore in order to engage in robust and decent-minded religious debate. But let's back up a moment.

On a separate part of the SHIELDS website, we learn that, in fact, Roper and Midlgey were *thrown out* of the bookstore by Sandra Tanner's husband, Jerald. In fact, the webmaster of SHIELDS (probably Stan Barker), posted this boastful summary:

Quote:
On June 19, 1997 an interesting incident occurred at the Utah Lighthouse Ministry bookstore in Salt Lake City, Utah. According to the owners of this ministry, Sandra and Jerald Tanner, only two people had been thrown out of their store prior to this date. On that date the number doubled. Dr. Louis C. Midgley and a friend, who questioned Mrs. Tanner on some issues, were tossed from the store by Mr. Tanner, who came from the back room when he had had his fill of their challenges. We are not presenting the Tanners' side of the incident because to date they have not provided one.
It is important to take note of the fact that Gerald Tanner was in some kind of "back room," and that, in essence, these two LDS men were ganging up on Sandra. In his "recollection" of the events, Midgley expresses what seems be a kind of mock surprise:

Prof. Midgley wrote:
Dear Sandra:

I must admit that I was astonished when, on June 19th, your husband showed up and tossed me (and my friend) from your bookstore. If I said or did something that offended you, of course I apologize. But I am at a loss to figure out what I might have said to you that warranted our being tossed out of your bookstore--I thought that we were having a thoroughly civil conversation. As in each of my previous conversations with you, both on the phone and in your shop, I thought that we had been able to communicate and even disagree without being disagreeable. I do not recall either feeling or expressing hostility towards you in any of our conversations.
I think it is worth noting that he had apparently been pestering Sandra quite a bit, both "on the phone" and "in [her] shop." Evidently, this showing up with Matt Roper was the last straw. Later in the "recollection", he ironically mentions that he has been digging into finances---something apologists have been cringing at as of late:

Dr. Midgley wrote:
In the past the issue that seemed to agitate you the most was my probing concerning the likelihood that George D. Smith's has financially assisted Utah Lighthouse Ministry. But even that portion of our previous conversations was entirely civil.
Now, does it seem right for apologists to get so bent out of shape when they are questioned about their finances, when good old Dr. Midgley had been doing precisely this (and quite persistently, apparently!) to S. Tanner?

In the past, discussions about this now-notorious incident have focused around Lou Midgley's white-hot temperment, and on the fact that two men were essentially confronting a lone woman in her place of business. No doubt, this seemed quite an aggressive and somewhat disturbing Mopologetic tactic. But, in all of this, something has long been overlooked.

Why was Matt Roper present?

As you will recall, Matt Roper is one of the few individuals who is paid to engage full-time in apologetics. So, what was he doing with Prof. Midgley on that fateful June day? Was he there as a kind of "hired muscle," or Mopologetic "button man"? Certainly, part of his purpose was to function as a witness. In case Midgley had managed to score a coup de grace, someone needed to be there to see it and offer a nod of confirmation. Or, if Midgley decided to warp his account, Roper, who is paid to do apologetics, would be there to go along with the story. At base, though, there can be no question that this incident provides a striking window into the operating tactics of LDS apologetics. In a sense, these folks seem to be operating according to some kind of clandestine mob rules whereby the gang-up mentality prevails. We can see evidence for this elsewhere, such as in the mysterious "Skinny-L" list which was used to facilitate an email "gang-up" on a Church critic.

Another revelation amidst all of this is the evident hierarchy. Clearly, Midgley was calling the shots here, and it is easy to see him, along with DCP, Hamblin, and perhaps John Tvedtness and others, as a kind of Mopologetic capo regime. These guys, operating on behalf of the Brethren (let's face it, there *is* something Don Corleone-esque about President Monson), and with the aid of "muscle men" like Matt Roper, are engaged in a subtle but aggressive war against critics. That they would use tactics such as threatening confrontations and harassing phone calls in genuinely frightening.

Many questions remain, of course, but the connection between Matt Roper---a full-time paid apologist---and this fateful incident, marks yet another important insight into the way LDS apologetics operates. Peel back the many layers, and what do we find? It seems that the Danites never really went away. They were just reborn in a new form.

Followup From Dr. Shades:

The Tanners used to run a monthly meeting of sorts in the gathering-area (or whatever you call it) on the second floor of their bookstore. They would focus on some aspect of LDS doctrine, practice, or history. Often they would have a guest speaker--William Bagley was there once--other times Sandra would speak.

At any rate, for a time I made it a point to attend each of these. Jerald and Sandra themselves were in attendance too most of the time. Since I had both of them there one time, I decided to get them both aside and ask them both, point-blank, for their side of the story, since I had only heard Louis Midgley's version.

After I brought the subject up, they sort of laughed about it. Jerald himself, who is noteworthy for being a man of very few words (letting Sandra be the public face of the ministry), told me the story:

He said that Louis being ejected from their bookstore had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with Louis winning an argument with Sandra. Jerald said that he was in the back room and could hear the entire exchange between them. He then said that Louis was being boistrous and disrespectful to his wife. After having all he could stand, he finally got tired of hearing his wife being disrespected, so he emerged from the back room and calmly asked Louis to leave. THAT WAS IT. Again, it had absolutely nothing to do with the subject matter of the argument itself.

Sandra then piped in and told me that Louis had even returned to their bookstore once or twice afterward (so it obviously wasn't a lifetime ban or anything). Once he brought a guest and was showing him around. He was still quite disrespectful--although not to Sandra herself--saying things like AND I QUOTE--"You're still selling books by that queer?"

So, there you have it. Good luck with your post on this.

A post from John H. on Times And Seasons in 2004: http://www.timesandseasons.org/?p=160...

I think Aaron’s characterization of Midgley in post 7 is so spot on it’s scary. I obviously don’t always agree with Dan Peterson, but it’s clear he’s brilliant, thoughtful, and well…normal. I don’t think the latter can apply to Midgley.

Let’s review, shall we?

1) Midgley shows up at a candlelight vigil for Lynne Whitesides, berating people, calling them children of Satan, and putting some in tears. I’m not an uncritical fan of the so-called September Six, but this is just bizarre.

2) Midgley attends the 25th anniversary of Signature Books at the University of Utah, talking loudly during the presentations, getting many glares and hushes from others. After the event he goes over to a table displaying Signature’s titles and loudly proclaims, “pathetic!”

3) While researching on (guess what?) Fawn Brodie at the University of Utah archives, Midgley repeatedly yells out phrases like, “I don’t believe it!” and “My goodness!” to no one in particular, scaring the crap out of the other patrons who think he’s a crazy man.

4) Midgley quizzes Grant Palmer during Palmer’s presentation of his book at Sam Weller’s, but doesn’t address the topics in the book. Instead, Midgley asks why Palmer wasn’t well liked on his mission to New Zealand, and questions Palmer’s faithfulness based on his popularity among the Maori.

5) Midgley calls up my friend’s 70 year-old mother (who, until I get his permission, will remain anonymous) and hounds her and berates her about her son’s involvement with Signature Books. He keeps harrassing her for information so he can get some dirt on her son.

And on and on. Midley probably holds the record for being banned from the most Mormon e-lists and groups. He has a well-known reputation for showing up at places he’s not welcome for the sole purpose of harrassing those in attendance.

Does this change the charges in his article? Not necessarily, but since FARMS is such a big fan of telling us about the authors of the books they review, it only seems fair if it’s a two-way street.

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A Conversation With Stan Barker Of SHIELDS
Tuesday, May 12, 2009, at 07:37 AM
Original Author(s): Dr. Shades
Topic: SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
As many of you saw, Doctor Scratch started a thread titled "SHIELDS Launches an Attack on Some Schmo." In it, Doctor Scratch quoted some statements from Stan Barker, chief SHIELDS guru. These statements seemed quite outrageous, and the resulting commentary seemed equally devastating thereunto.

I took the opportunity to e-mail Stan to find out if he had anything to say for himself. Here is how it all went down. (For ease of reading, quoted material is in purple; double-quoted material is in blue. As such, the grayish material is original and is thus the most important, of course.)

EXCHANGE #1

Dr. Shades wrote:
Hello Stan,

You may be interested in the fact that that there is a thread dedicated to you at MormonDiscussions.com right now.
I must admit, it seems to be extremely devastating to your point of view. I honestly can't see any way for you to counter what they're saying. Is it even possible to respond to the arguments contained therein?

The thread is at:
http://mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3/vie ... f=1andamp;t=9022
Have a nice day,
"Dr. Shades"


Stan Barker wrote:
You must be kidding! That was one of the most conflated hyper-excited and irrational rants I have read. We are talking about several different posts here that, in order to attempt to make me look bad, were drawn together as if one post. Amazing. Not only that, I use the word "most" in a sentence, and the writer says that I said *all.* That is honesty? That is rational thinking? I make a simple statement without any real emotion, but in order to paint a bad picture the writer says "angry tone." Later he uses "erupted."

Frankly if you think that kind of nonsense is devastating, it is pointless to even attempt a discusion. And then, after reading this, calling what I wrote a hit piece. Laughable. Absolutely laughable. Comments like implying that I said, "many Mormons don't know diddly squat about Church history and/or doctrine," when what I really said was that many "don't know enough." Major difference. Do you know enuogh? Who does?

Dr. Shades, if this kind of nonsense makes you feel like you guys have made a case, I suggest that you don't go off your meds. It will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy.

Shaking my head... I just can hardly believe anyone would be taken in by such nonsense. It says a great deal about you, if you think they made a devastating case. Again, it isn't worth further discussion. You guys have fun out there, but be careful, the boogyman might get you.

Stan


EXCHANGE #2

Dr. Shades wrote:
andgt; You must be kidding! That was one of the most conflated hyper-excited and
andgt; irrational rants I have read. We are talking about several different posts
andgt; here that, in order to attempt to make me look bad, were drawn together as
andgt; if one post.


That is a false statement. It was a single post only, not several different ones. It was posted in a March 19 entry in your weblog, which you can view at:

http://shields-research.org/WP/?p=11

andgt; Amazing. Not only that, I use the word "most" in a sentence,
andgt; and the writer says that I said *all.* That is honesty?


You may have meant that most educated people don't join the church--implying that some do--but from the readers' point of view, it seemed as though you meant that among educated people, those who joined the church actually listened to the message whereas ALL of those who DON'T join simply didn't listen.

Hence the word "all" in the opening post.

andgt; That is rational
andgt; thinking? I make a simple statement without any real emotion, but in order
andgt; to paint a bad picture the writer says "angry tone." Later he uses
andgt; "erupted."


That may not have been your intent, but your use of the triple exclamation points made it seem that way from the readers' point of view.

andgt; Frankly if you think that kind of nonsense is devastating, it is pointless
andgt; to even attempt a discusion. And then, after reading this, calling what I
andgt; wrote a hit piece. Laughable. Absolutely laughable. Comments like
andgt; implying that I said, "many Mormons don't know diddly squat about Church
andgt; history and/or doctrine," when what I really said was that many "don't know
andgt; enough." Major difference. Do you know enuogh? Who does?


So are you implying that nobody knows enough about church history and/or doctrine? If that's indeed the case, why did you merely say that "many" Mormons don't know enough about church history and/or doctrine?

andgt; Dr. Shades, if this kind of nonsense makes you feel like you guys have made
andgt; a case, I suggest that you don't go off your meds. It will keep you feeling
andgt; warm and fuzzy.


You've nitpicked about the word "all" and about your true emotional state at the time of the entry's composition, but you have yet to address the actual meat of the post in question.

andgt; Shaking my head... I just can hardly believe anyone would be taken in by
andgt; such nonsense. It says a great deal about you, if you think they made a
andgt; devastating case. Again, it isn't worth further discussion. You guys have
andgt; fun out there, but be careful, the boogyman might get you.


I fail to see how this addresses the point. Specifically, do you really, truly believe that the only reason educated people (and even uneducated people, for that matter) overwhelmingly reject Mormonism is merely because they don't understand it? Do you honestly believe that if they understood it, they'd overwhelmingly accept it, and *not the other way around?*

Judging from your blog entry, I think you mistake *apologetics* for *Mormonism.* Also, just because someone rejects apologetics doesn't mean they misunderstand it; chances are they reject apologetics precisely *because* they understand it.

Are you able to address the substance of the origial post, instead of mere nitpicking? Because, like I said, I don't see how you can.


Stan Barker wrote:
andgt; andgt; You must be kidding! That was one of the most conflated hyper-excited and
andgt; andgt; irrational rants I have read. We are talking about several different posts
andgt; andgt; here that, in order to attempt to make me look bad, were drawn together as
andgt; andgt; if one post.


andgt; That is a false statement. It was a single post only, not several
andgt; different ones. It was posted in a March 19 entry in your weblog,
andgt; which you can view at:

andgt; http://shields-research.org/WP/?p=11


Stan reples:
Interesting. So you originally referred me to:

http://mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3/vie ... f=1andamp;t=9022

I went there, and the first post on that page is as follows:

http://shields-research.org/WP/?cat=9

That link goes to two posts that I made. They are not all one post. But, you tell me that I made a false statement? Dr. Shades, it appears as if you are getting too excited and are having trouble following a discussion. Go back, take another look. I did not make a false statment.

andgt; andgt; Amazing. Not only that, I use the word "most" in a sentence,
andgt; andgt; and the writer says that I said *all.* That is honesty?


andgt; You may have meant that most educated people don't join the
andgt; church--implying that some do--but from the readers' point of view, it
andgt; seemed as though you meant that among educated people, those who
andgt; joined the church actually listened to the message whereas ALL of
andgt; those who DON'T join simply didn't listen.

andgt; Hence the word "all" in the opening post.


Stan replies:
(sigh) So, I didn't mean what I said? That is a pathetic argument. What I said was clear. If you or others can't seem to understand it, (notice that I did NOT say "all" could not understand it), then what is the point of discussing it. It is clear enough. You folks are just trying to build a mountain out of a molehill to make yourselves feel good. My original posts stand and I have nothing to apologize for.

andgt; andgt; That is rational
andgt; andgt; thinking? I make a simple statement without any real emotion, but in order
andgt; andgt; to paint a bad picture the writer says "angry tone." Later he uses
andgt; andgt; "erupted."


andgt; That may not have been your intent, but your use of the triple
andgt; exclamation points made it seem that way from the readers' point of
andgt; view.


Stan replies:
Whatever!!!! 8-)

andgt; andgt; Frankly if you think that kind of nonsense is devastating, it is pointless
andgt; andgt; to even attempt a discusion. And then, after reading this, calling what I
andgt; andgt; wrote a hit piece. Laughable. Absolutely laughable. Comments like
andgt; andgt; implying that I said, "many Mormons don't know diddly squat about Church
andgt; andgt; history and/or doctrine," when what I really said was that many "don't know
andgt; andgt; enough." Major difference. Do you know enuogh? Who does?


andgt; So are you implying that nobody knows enough about church history
andgt; and/or doctrine? If that's indeed the case, why did you merely say
andgt; that "many" Mormons don't know enough about church history and/or
andgt; doctrine?


Stan replies:
Jason, the statement is clear. I'm not going to debate it. Again, an attempt to make something out of nothing. And why? Just to make me look bad. However, in the end, it is you guys who look bad with such a feeble attempt to discredit me. Why is this post so aggravating to you folks? As one person said, (in essense), no one looks as SHIELDS.

andgt; andgt; Dr. Shades, if this kind of nonsense makes you feel like you guys have made
andgt; andgt; a case, I suggest that you don't go off your meds. It will keep you feeling
andgt; andgt; warm and fuzzy.


andgt; You've nitpicked about the word "all" and about your true emotional
andgt; state at the time of the entry's composition, but you have yet to
andgt; address the actual meat of the post in question.


Stan replies:
Whatever that might be.

andgt; andgt; Shaking my head... I just can hardly believe anyone would be taken in by
andgt; andgt; such nonsense. It says a great deal about you, if you think they made a
andgt; andgt; devastating case. Again, it isn't worth further discussion. You guys have
andgt; andgt; fun out there, but be careful, the boogyman might get you.


andgt; I fail to see how this addresses the point. Specifically, do you
andgt; really, truly believe that the only reason educated people (and even
andgt; uneducated people, for that matter) overwhelmingly reject Mormonism is
andgt; merely because they don't understand it? Do you honestly believe that
andgt; if they understood it, they'd overwhelmingly accept it, and *not the
andgt; other way around?*


Stan replies:
You are clearly twisting my words. That, in fact, is not what I said. Go back to the second post on that original page (on the blog you sent me to) and reread the opening paragraph. I said there were 13 PhD's in my ward. Do you somehow suppose they are the only PhD's in the Church? Secondly, many (again, just for your sake, I did not say "all") 7people never really seriously look at the LDS Church's doctrine and history, hence why would they join the LDS Church? This is a specious argument. Many of those really educated people end up joining the LDS Church, but wait, then they are members so you can discount them. Jason, this is really stupid nitpicking. And it completely misses the point I made in my post in the blog. I stand by the post. There is not need to try to debate semantics in order to try to "get me." This is just stupid.

andgt; Judging from your blog entry, I think you mistake *apologetics* for
andgt; *Mormonism.*


Stan replies:
You are free to believe whatever you wish, as you have already so clearly demonstrated. Doesn't change the truth, however.

andgt; Also, just because someone rejects apologetics doesn't
andgt; mean they misunderstand it; chances are they reject apologetics
andgt; precisely *because* they understand it.


Stan replies:
Yes, sure.... just like the folks who have written to me saying that nothing on the SHIELDS site is true, but when asked to provide an example, they quietly dissappear. I've got nothing to apologize for Jason. When they start providing cogent responses to our answers, that demonstrates where we are wrong, you might have a point. Till then, this is a lot of bluff and bluster and a waste of time.

andgt; Are you able to address the substance of the origial post, instead of
andgt; mere nitpicking? Because, like I said, I don't see how you can.


Stan replies:
You know what Jason, I looked at the original post. I addressed a number of issues there. There was so much nonsense, that I must have missed the point. Perhaps you could explain to me what I am missing and therefore not addressing? But please, straw-men, really don't draw much attention from me. There was a specific list of 3 points. I answered number one, #2 requires no answer, and #3 requires no answer. The follow-up comment then misses the point of my blog post (which you did as well). Why should I respond to that which is perfectly clear and try to answer straw men? I'm told that what I wrote was a "hit piece," followed by my "erupting in anger." Silly, very silly and a common tactic for this wishing to sidetrack the discussion and poison the well. So, Schmo can do a hit piece, but when I respond with clear logic and good examples, I'm all excited and angry. Yeah, real scholarly reply. Then it goes downhill from there.

Jason, I see no need to go any further. My comments stand on their own in my original blog posts. Like I've already said, if you folks want to rationalize what you see there and thereby create a "hit piece" on me to make yourselves feel superior, feel free. I could care less. For me, I see this discussion as having come to an end.

Regards,
Stan Barker


Stan Barker wrote:
Jason, just a follow-up comment or two. Schmo's original hit piece implies that LDS scholars (including the many, many PhD's that are members of the Church, are somewhat inferior to scholars outside of the LDS Church. But somehow, that doesn't seem to catch anyone's attention. Where is the criticism from your quarters on how nonsensical his arguments are? Don't answer that. I know why there aren't any from your quarter. That is why I posted my comments on our Blog about it. You folks seem to live by quite a double-standard and either never see it as such or simply don't understand. Perhaps the participants on that list regard themselves as some of the leading scholars in the nation? Do you think you are? And if not, why should I care what you think of me? And why should I anyway. Everyone is capable of being stupid and not seeing truth because of prejudices, no matter how objective they claim to be.

My comments stand and nothing posted on your little board refutes them.

Stan


EXCHANGE #3

Dr. Shades wrote:
andgt; Stan reples:
andgt; Interesting. So you originally referred me to:
andgt;
andgt; http://mormondiscussions.com/phpBB3/vie ... f=1andamp;t=9022
andgt;
andgt; I went there, and the first post on that page is as follows:
andgt;
andgt; http://shields-research.org/WP/?cat=9
andgt;
andgt; That link goes to two posts that I made. They are not all one post. But,
andgt; you tell me that I made a false statement?


Yes. Although Doctor Scratch mistakenly linked to the whole blog page, his thread referred to only one post among them.

andgt; (sigh) So, I didn't mean what I said? That is a pathetic argument. What I
andgt; said was clear. If you or others can't seem to understand it, (notice that
andgt; I did NOT say "all" could not understand it), then what is the point of
andgt; discussing it. It is clear enough. You folks are just trying to build a
andgt; mountain out of a molehill to make yourselves feel good. My original posts
andgt; stand and I have nothing to apologize for.


I am not asking you to apologize. You directly implied that those with Ph.D.s who don't join the church are simply the same ones who didn't adequately listen to it. You're right; you didn't imply that ALL Ph.D.s reject it--since some probably do convert to it here or there--but you did imply that ALL those who reject it simply didn't listen. So it's a simple question of whether "all = all Ph.D.s," or "all = all Ph.D.s who don't join Mormonism."

andgt; Jason, the statement is clear. I'm not going to debate it. Again, an
andgt; attempt to make something out of nothing. And why? Just to make me look
andgt; bad. However, in the end, it is you guys who look bad with such a feeble
andgt; attempt to discredit me. Why is this post so aggravating to you folks? As
andgt; one person said, (in essense), no one looks as SHIELDS.


It's not an attempt to make you look bad. It's merely an attempt to reconnoiter whether you honestly, truly believe that ALL Ph.D.s who reject Mormonism do so merely because they aren't familiar with it. It's also an attempt to discover whether you really, honestly believe that knowledgeable Mormons know more than ALL critics you've ever encountered over 40+ years (or whatever it was). It's true that knowledgeable Mormons may be able to COMPARTMENTALIZE problems within Mormonism better than any critic, but let's face it, critics are, on average, quite a bit more adept at SYNTHESIZING the problems within Mormonism into a fuller understanding of just what the implications are.

Also, it appears as though you believe that it's impossible to reject Mormonism and understand it at the same time. Is that truly your belief? I honestly don't know whether it is or not; I'm merely trying to discover what, specifically, your opinion is. Assuming that's indeed an accurate appraisal of your belief, I'd like to bring to your attention that the opposite is true: The deeper one's understanding of and knowledge about Mormonism, the easier it becomes to reject it. Let's face it, there's a reason that potential converts are only given a scan of the religion; if they discover beforehand that (going on memory here) the sun, or Kli-Flo-Is-Is, borrows its light from the medium of Kae-E-Vanrash via Ha-Ko-Kau-Beam through the revolutions of Kolob, they'd be much less likely to join, ESPECIALLY if they have a Ph.D.

andgt; You are clearly twisting my words. That, in fact, is not what I said. Go
andgt; back to the second post on that original page (on the blog you sent me to)
andgt; and reread the opening paragraph. I said there were 13 PhD's in my ward.
andgt; Do you somehow suppose they are the only PhD's in the Church?


Of course not. But as Some Schmo pointed out, chances are those 13 Ph.D.s in your ward were merely born into it, so it doesn't seem implausible to them.

andgt; Secondly,
andgt; many (again, just for your sake, I did not say "all") 7people never really
andgt; seriously look at the LDS Church's doctrine and history, hence why would
andgt; they join the LDS Church? This is a specious argument. Many of those
andgt; really educated people end up joining the LDS Church, but wait, then they
andgt; are members so you can discount them.


No, I would not discount them. You appear to be conflating "converts" with "born-in-the-covenant" members, which is precisely the distinction that Some Schmo originally made. I really would be interested in knowing the percentage of Ph.D.s who learn about Mormonism and then join vs. those Ph.D.s who learn about Mormonism and then consciously refrain from joining.

andgt; Jason, this is really stupid
andgt; nitpicking. And it completely misses the point I made in my post in the
andgt; blog. I stand by the post. There is not need to try to debate semantics in
andgt; order to try to "get me." This is just stupid.


I'm not nitpicking. I'm trying to get a grasp on whether you truly believe that it's impossible to gain a proficiency with Mormon doctrine and history and then become convinced that it's NOT true (as you directly implied in your blog entry). On the flip side, I'm trying to determine whether you've never considered the notion that the more one learns about Mormonism, the LESS likely they are to join.

andgt; You are free to believe whatever you wish, as you have already so clearly
andgt; demonstrated. Doesn't change the truth, however.


Right. That's why I wish to learn, directly from you, what your opinion is, so that I don't have to make any guesses, educated or otherwise.

andgt; Yes, sure.... just like the folks who have written to me saying that nothing
andgt; on the SHIELDS site is true, but when asked to provide an example, they
andgt; quietly dissappear. I've got nothing to apologize for Jason. When they
andgt; start providing cogent responses to our answers, that demonstrates where we
andgt; are wrong, you might have a point. Till then, this is a lot of bluff and
andgt; bluster and a waste of time.


We're not talking about the SHIELDS site in general here. We're talking about your blog entry wherein you stated that Ph.D.s who don't join the church simply didn't listen to it or don't know enough about it.

andgt; You know what Jason, I looked at the original post. I addressed a number of
andgt; issues there. There was so much nonsense, that I must have missed the
andgt; point. Perhaps you could explain to me what I am missing and therefore not
andgt; addressing?


Hopefully I clarified it above.

andgt; But please, straw-men, really don't draw much attention from
andgt; me. There was a specific list of 3 points. I answered number one, #2
andgt; requires no answer, and #3 requires no answer. The follow-up comment then
andgt; misses the point of my blog post (which you did as well). Why should I
andgt; respond to that which is perfectly clear and try to answer straw men? I'm
andgt; told that what I wrote was a "hit piece," followed by my "erupting in
andgt; anger."


In that case, let's ignore the tone of your blog entry and focus on your beliefs instead, as I have hopefully done.

andgt; Jason, I see no need to go any further. My comments stand on their own in
andgt; my original blog posts. Like I've already said, if you folks want to
andgt; rationalize what you see there and thereby create a "hit piece" on me to
andgt; make yourselves feel superior, feel free. I could care less. For me, I see
andgt; this discussion as having come to an end.


If A) your comments stand on their own, and B) this discussion has come to an end, then I'll have no choice but to conclude that Doctor Scratch's analysis is correct, and that you believe A) educated people who reject Mormonism merely haven't done their homework, and B) by extension, it's impossible for someone to reject Mormonism after they've dug deeply into it.

Is that really what you want?

andgt; Jason, just a follow-up comment or two. Schmo's original hit piece implies that LDS scholars
andgt; (including the many, many PhD's that are members of the Church, are somewhat inferior to
andgt; scholars outside of the LDS Church.


I see that nowhere implied. Just because LDS Ph.D.s fail to recognize the logical flaws within the church because they were raised in it doesn't mean that all other Ph.D.s DON'T fail to recognize the logical flaws within their own traditions because they were raised in them as well. It's an extremely common phenomenon among the entire human family.

andgt; But somehow, that doesn't seem to catch anyone's
andgt; attention. Where is the criticism from your quarters on how nonsensical his arguments are?


It's not nonsensical; it's self-evident.

andgt; Don't answer that. I know why there aren't any from your quarter. That is why I posted my
andgt; comments on our Blog about it. You folks seem to live by quite a double-standard and either
andgt; never see it as such or simply don't understand. Perhaps the participants on that list regard
andgt; themselves as some of the leading scholars in the nation? Do you think you are? And if not,
andgt; why should I care what you think of me? And why should I anyway. Everyone is capable of
andgt; being stupid and not seeing truth because of prejudices, no matter how objective they claim
andgt; to be.


Precisely. That's why I seek to truly understand your beliefs on this issue. Would you prefer that I simply make assumptions?

andgt; My comments stand and nothing posted on your little board refutes them.

In that case, please help me to understand them better.


Stan Barker did not respond to that last e-mail of mine.

Interestingly, Brother Barker forwarded each of his replies to both the LDS Apologetics listserv and the L-Skinny listserv. Since he didn't respond to my last e-mail, chances are LDS Apologetics and L-Skinny didn't see it, either, and thus, as of now, mistakenly believe that he got the last word.

In other news, some of you may be wondering about the ethicality of posting someone else's e-mails wholesale, but Brother Barker himself has elsewhere made it perfectly clear that he has no ethical problem whatsoever with doing such a thing.

So, there you have it.
topic image
An Historic Apologetic Communique Comes To Light
Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at 01:33 PM
Original Author(s): Doctor Scratch
Topic: SHIELDS RESEARCH - MORMON APOLOGETICS   -Link To MC Article-
I was tipped off to this thanks to a very important "informant." This document, I believe, sheds a great deal of light on the principal motivations behind Mopologetics. It shows what dubious ends the apologists are attempting to achieve, and it lays bare the ugly, duplicitous foundation upon which online Mopologetics was built.

The following is apparently a very old Internet document. It is somewhat difficult to read, but you can still parse it out:

http://www.shields-research.org/Critics/EarlyH.html

Here is the text of the document, with my commentary interspersed:
Area # 31 Mormon 04-20-95 18:00 Message # 12822 From : Doug Marshall [former LDS] To : Ron Hathcock Subj : Anonymous

RH-> DM> 3. Ignoring the opposition is effective. UMI's stories DM> (nearly a dozen about me and my partner and our DM> organization)

RH-> Because I only read messages to myself or to ALL, I've RH-> missed out on this. -> What is your organization doing to earn UMI's attention?
A bit of backstory: Doug Marshall (as John Larsen explained in a recent post) was one of the founders of SHIELDS. He has since abandoned the LDS faith, and in fact he has expressed a great deal of regret and embarrassment over his involvement in SHIELDS. I should add that UMI=Utah Missions Inc., headed by Mopologetic arch enemy Rev. Dennis Wright. (There is a lot of correspondence at SHIELDS between various UMI people and the apologists. Much of it is quite nasty.)

In terms of this excerpt, I'd like to draw your attention to "RH"'s question, "What is your organization doing to earn UMI's attention?" Notice the cloak-and-dagger tone of this, as if there is some nefarious "plot" to interfere with UMI's activities. (UMI, btw, is responsible for publishing the rather well-known Evangel, which our very own CKSalmon has been associated with, IIRC.)

In any event, the communique continues:
Uh.... it didn't happen here, so ya' really didn't miss anything.

I had the audacity to actually question what Mike Reynolds had to say, in public and with documentation... and then to print the information and Reynolds' **documented** lack of response in front of a roomful of witnesses... Reynolds and McKay are EXPERTS and they ARE NOT to be questioned... they also have rules against Mormons ignoring the Strawman named "Mormon Belief" that they build and going after their statements.
This is a bit puzzling, but it sounds as if Marshall very publicly confronted these UMI people in an effort to embarrass them. It sounds as if he turned up at some public event, waving around this "documentation," all in the hopes of attacking them and making them look bad. But, it gets worse. Given the fact that Marshall and et al. are/were LDS apologists, the following will no doubt strike many as being unbelievably hypocritical and low: THEN I read the political stories in the Evangel... follow this:
a) UMI is a 501(c)3 organization, so they are not to endorse political candidates.

b) UMI publishes the Evangel, a tabloid-style newspaper that talks about the UMI version of Mormon Doctrine **and** that makes a point in every issue to show that Mormons are morally, mentally and spiritually inferior and maybe even unAmerican.

c) UMI, in a typical Mormon-bashing issue, published a story about a local (Marlow, Oklahoma) political race in which one candidate was a Mormon and one went to Church with a member of UMI's staff.

d) I felt it was a political endorsement **when taken in context of UMI's stated purpose and typical issue of the Evangel.**

e) I called a local Oklahoma paper (The Duncan Banner) to find out what I could find out about the race... They ended up interviewing me and running a couple of stories on UMI that were not full of fawning praise for these intrepid experts.

f) I called several organizations for an opinion of the legality of UMI's stories vis-a-vis their 501(c)3 status... all of them told me that they would advise a 501(c)3 organization to NOT do as UMI had done as it got very near the line, and that the IRS were the only ones who could say if it was legal or not.

g) so I sent the info to the IRS.
Wow! Let's pause a moment here to gather our bearings. This communique reveals that:
  1. The apologists wanted to destroy UMI's non-profit status.
  2. The apologists had been closely monitoring UMI's activities, including "political" commentary.
  3. The apologists were stepping outside the boundaries of critical exchange and actually contacted the IRS, all in an effort to attack UMI.
  4. All of this was "plotted" out and discussed by way of this skinny-l-esque network.
As you can expect, there was an immediate round of gloating:
To say the least, UMI went ballistic.

One of the most interesting comments they made was that I should have asked **them** if they had done anything illegal..... (When I pointed out that that would be like asking Mrs Clinton if she had done anything against they law, they got really abusive...)

Our organization is SHIELDS, the Scholarly and Historical Information Exchange for Latter-day Saints... we are an informal network of regular Mormons who do some research and reading and responding to the antimormonoids. We developed the name, and the structure, because sometimes having an organization is a benefit, but we do not have membership or anything like that.

I've posted our address several times, but will do it again... SHIELDS [NOTE: address removed as no longer valid for the current SHIELDS. The SHIELDS name was donated to us by Doug Marshall and Doug Yancey.]

Thanx for asking,

Doug
I believe that this is a very important, early Internet Mopologist document. It shows that, practically from the start, the apologists were going to use the Internet as a weapon against critics. That is, they would use the fast communication and information-sharing that it offered as a way to stage IRL assaults on critics and critical organizations. And all the foundations are right here in this 1995 document: the nastiness, the penchant for cheap shots, the gloating, the invitation to join in on the assaults, and so on.

I can only wonder if this document was circulated among other Mopologetic groups, but my sense is "yes, it did." Probably, the members of skinny-l were treated to this, or perhaps this was even a precursor to the Skinny List. (Revealingly, the list was called the "MORMON FIDONet BBS echo," with "MORMONFIDO" clearly referring to the "attack-dog" mentality embraced by many apologists.) Very interesting, in any case.
 
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  · MORMON DOCTRINE (35)
  · MORMON FUNERALS (12)
  · MORMON GARMENTS (20)
  · MORMON HANDCARTS (12)
  · MORMON INTERPRETER (4)
  · MORMON MARRIAGE EXCLUSIONS (1)
  · MORMON MEMBERSHIP (38)
  · MORMON MISSIONARIES (142)
  · MORMON MONEY (73)
  · MORMON NEWSROOM (5)
  · MORMON POLITICAL ISSUES (5)
  · MORMON RACISM (18)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONIES (38)
  · MORMON TEMPLE CHANGES (15)
  · MORMON TEMPLES (116)
  · MORMON VISITOR CENTERS (10)
  · MORMON WARDS AND STAKE CENTERS (1)
  · MORMONTHINK (13)
  · 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)
  · PRIESTHOOD EXECUTIVE MEETING (0)
  · 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)
  · THE SINGLE WARDS (5)
  · THE WORLD TABLE (3)
  · THOMAS PHILLIPS (18)
  · THOMAS S. MONSON (33)
  · TIME (4)
  · TITHING (63)
  · UGO PEREGO (5)
  · UK COURTS (7)
  · UNNANOUNCED, UNINVITED AND UNWELCOME (36)
  · UTAH LIGHTHOUSE MINISTRY (3)
  · VALERIE HUDSON (3)
  · VAN HALE (16)
  · VAUGHN J. FEATHERSTONE (1)
  · VIDEOS (30)
  · WARD CLEANING (4)
  · WARREN SNOW (1)
  · WELFARE (0)
  · WENDY L. WATSON (7)
  · WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME (11)
  · WILFORD WOODRUFF (6)
  · WILLIAM HAMBLIN (11)
  · WILLIAM LAW (1)
  · WILLIAM SCHRYVER (5)
  · WILLIAM WINES PHELPS (3)
  · WOMEN AND MORMONISM (86)
  · WORD OF WISDOM (7)
  · WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES (1)
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